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Chapter – 1

Introduction

1.1 Introduction to research topic

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E- Retailing an overview

Electronic retailing (also called e-tailing and Internet retailing) is a retail format in
which the retailer and customer communicate which each other through an
interactive electronic network. After an electronic dialogue between the retailer
and customer, the customer can order merchandise directly through the
interactive network or by telephone. The merchandise is then delivered to the
customer’s address.

The World Wide Web can serve one or more of these roles for a retailer

• Project a retail presence.


• Generate sales as the major source of revenue for an online retailer or as a
Complementary source of revenue for a store-based retailer.
• Enhance the retailer’s image.
• Reach geographically dispersed consumers including foreign ones.
• Provide information to consumers about the products carried, store locations,
usage
Information, answers to common questions, customer loyalty programmes and
so on.
• Promote new products and fully explain and demonstrate their features.
• Furnish customer service in the form of E-mail, “hot links”, and other
communications.
• Be more personal with consumers by letting them point and click on topics they
choose.
• Conduct a retail business in a cost efficient manner.
• Obtain customer feedback.
• Give special offers and send coupons to web customers.
• Describe employment opportunities.
• Present information to potential investors, potential franchisees and the media.

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The role assigned to the web by a given retailer depends on whether it is
predominantly a traditional retailer that wants to have a web presence or a newer
firm that wants to derive most or all its revenues from web transactions.

In India Non-Store retailing represented by direct selling and etailing is estimated


at Rs 1,100 crores. Only 19 percent of all retailers have an e-retailing initiative.
The number of retailers with plans to e-tail within one year and those with no
plans are almost equal. Significantly, 10 percent of the retailers have
discontinued their e-retail initiatives. The main reasons for retailers to stay away
from e-tailing are predominantly non-viability of business and resource
constraints. It is estimated that 5 percent or more of retail sales of goods and
services such as apparel, banking, books, computer hardware and software,
consumer electronics, gifts, greeting cards, insurance, music,
newspapers/magazines, sporting goods, toys, travel and videos will be made
online. In the case of products where it is difficult to provide ‘touch and feel’
information electronically, such as clothing, perfumes, flowers and food electronic
retailers may not be successful. Branding may help overcome many of the
uncertainties in purchasing merchandise without touching and feeling it. For
example, if customers purchase a size 30–inch waist / 32-inch inseam pair of
jeans, they know they will fit when bought from an electronic retailer. In some
products and services, such as traveling or hotels, electronic retailers might even
be able to provide superior information compared to store retailers. The critical
issue related to selling successfully for electronic retailers is whether they can
provide enough information prior to the purchase and make sure the customers
will be satisfied with the merchandise once they get it. There are many buying
situations in which electronic retailers can provide sufficient information, even
though the merchandise has important ‘touch and feel’ attributes.

Started on venture capitalist (VC) or initial public offering (IPO) money, by 1999
there was hype around e-tailing. Consumers were thought to be ready to make a
deliberate choice of buying from e-retailers rather than retailers. They seemed to

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fulfill the consumer dream of no queues, no geographic barriers, low prices and
unlimited selection - what retail had failed to deliver. But e-tailing ended up
disappointing and found that traditional shopping was easier. Ernst & Young
statistics for the 1999 Christmas season revealed that US online buyers spent
only 26% of their holiday spending (averaging $1,080 per capita) online, while
they devoted 67% of their total holiday expenditure to in-store purchases, the
remaining 7% they spent on catalogue products. By the end of the 2000 holiday
season more than 90% of e-tailers closed down in the period to January 2001. E-
commerce witnessed the collapse of several online grocers, drug stores, auto
dealerships, pet supply stores and other budding ecommerce ventures and
hundreds of dotcom investors abandoning their dreams of getting rich quick with
e-commerce. However, Retail e-commerce sales grew to $7.5 billion, up 24.7
percent in the second quarter of 2001 compared with just under $6 billion in the
second quarter of 2000, according to an August report from the U.S. Commerce
Department. Leading market researchers suggest that U.S. markets for online
retailers will cross $27 billion by 2007. European Web shoppers are expected to
spend more money online for groceries than their American counterparts,
according to Forrester Research. The report predicts that Web grocery shopping
in Europe will be $51 million –or five percent of Europe’s total grocery sales by
2007. Seven percent of the United Kingdom’s grocery sales will go online by
2007. The Nordic countries are expected to follow closely with six percent of
grocery sales taking place online. France and Germany will account for more
than three percent of sales online in 2007. The present players in the market are
trying to learn the lessons from the failures and success of extinct and surviving
e-commerce pioneers.

1.2 An overview of industry in general


Powering the Reinvention of Retailing

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Growth of e-retailing hinges on the last mile,

When looking at potential growth for online retailing, most analysts look at the
number of consumers who are online, what online merchandising they respond
to and what marketing it takes to make them repeat buyers. Chicago-based
consultant Lauren Freedman has one word for them: Fulfillment. “How do we
grow this business if people aren’t home to receive their purchases when they
are delivered?” says Freedman, president of The E-Tailing Group Inc. “Not
everyone can receive their deliveries at work.”

E-retailing Myths:

The common myths earlier were that online selling required low investment and
low cost and hence had no entry barriers and it was easy to succeed. There are
four B2C myths that can be misleading while managing e-commerce operations.

1. Stickiness is good: Many sites aspire to keep customers on the site as long
as possible by adding features and design navigation. They have too many
sequential clicks through pages and save the best page for the last. On the
contrary it is observed that when it comes to e-commerce sites, the customers
would rather complete their purpose than unnecessarily waste a lot of time on a
site when looking for a particular product. Therefore, a site should have an
introductory home page, offer speed navigation, vividly describe product benefits,
update displays regularly, provide expert information and price competitively.

2. More is better: Some sites try to attract customers with flashy technology by
bombarding them with fancy graphics, animation and sound effects. But fancy
visual and sound effects slow sites to a crawl. A recent survey from Jupiter Media
Metrix found that visitors were twice as likely to return to a site with faster loading
pages as they were to sites that provide rich media. The Jupiter survey also

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found that 59 percent of those surveyed would be more likely to return to a site
that offered more product information.

3. Personalization drives profitability: Personalization was supposed to be the


killer application of B2C. But personalization is just one of the merchandising
techniques that e- commerce sites should consider for incremental sales
improvement but per se it does not help to complete sales. This is because
customer actions don’t always reflect their interests. For example, a customer
may have bought a book on baseball as a gift for his brother-in-law, a sports fan.
But the customer dislikes sports himself. However, that does not stop the site
from continually calling the customer’s attention to books on baseball, football,
basketball and the like. It is recommended that instead of investing in expensive
personalization technology sites they would be better off devoting their energies
to proper merchandising by answering questions and having items logically
arranged.

4. You can sell anything on the web: One can sell many products like CDs,
books, gifts, online. But certain products aren’t a good fit for e-commerce sales,
either due to legal restrictions like in the case of alcohol, or the customers need
to touch and feel the product or try an expensive piece of apparel to make sure it
fits. Sometimes the discounted price shoppers’ find on the Web may not offset
the hefty shipping charges for large, heavy items such as an oven or Jacuzzi.
Although, in the case of such products one may not be able to complete the
transaction on the Web but it can assist the sale. The web-site can be used to
inform customers about these items and direct them to an appropriate sales
channel, like its stores or distribution network.

5. Some common myths now are that e-commerce entails high cost and
hence is not viable. E-commerce is undoubtedly a high investment business
requiring substantial investment to set up the web site, the software for data
capture, records and interactive systems for customer dialogue. These are

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sometimes underestimated and often cause downfalls. But they are investments
like any bricks and mortar business; only the heads under which they are made
are different.

6. Another myth is that e-commerce cannot make money. But e-commerce


can be made profitable by generating volumes to make money and given time to
mature and taking up the challenge to change customer behavior. However, it
cannot be a gold mine.

7. According to the Ernst & Young “Global Online Retailing” report, the main
reasons that non buyers don’t buy online are: they are uncomfortable sending
credit card information, preference for seeing the product before purchasing, no
existence of credit card, and insufficient information about products to make
decisions, lack of confidence with online merchants and limitation of talking to the
sale person. In addition, the main concerns of online buyers are overly high
shipping costs; need to try for fit in the case of apparel, high prices, inappropriate
for large, perishable and luxury items, need to feel and see and concern of
privacy. The report also charted that 3 biggest “barriers” consumer’s feel hinder
their online shopping experience is price, security and ease of navigation.

8. The e-tailers have high fulfillment of costs (which can be as high as US$16 an
order for most dotcom e-tailers) and lack of scale makes the business
unprofitable.

9. Poor inventory management also causes major losses for many dotcoms. This
fact along with inexperienced merchandising teams, brutal price competition,
inefficient product return systems, result in poor gross margins for online –only
players.

10. High marketing costs: Experienced offline brands spend about 18% less
than startups on establishing retail websites. E –tailer-marketing costs are high.

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Online “rent”, a term for the price of time and space on media channels for on-
and offline brand marketing, has inflated hugely over the last decade of the
twentieth century. According to Thomas Weitzel Partners (August 1999) where a
superstore spends an average of US$2.50 promoting a product, e-retailers spend
US $17.29 per product.

11. Online customer acquisition costs: Most consumers still need to be


persuaded to go online and at the same time almost all e-retailers lose money on
every customer. Their customers generate too few orders and too little profit per
order to cover the costs of winning them, which can be as high as 65% per order.
According to a study by The McKinsey Quarterly in July 2000, for e-tailers to
achieve comfortable contributions on each transaction, they would need efficient
order fulfillment processes, average orders of at least US$100 and gross margins
of at least 25%.

Factors Affecting the Growth of Electronic Retailing

Three critical factors affecting the adoption of a new innovation such as shopping
electronically are (1) the ease with which customers can try the innovation, (2)
the perceived risks in adopting the innovation, and (3) the benefits offered by the
innovation compared to the present alternatives.

Trying Out Electronic Shopping:

In September 2002 about 605.60 million around the world had access to the
Internet. Majority of these web surfers were living in Europe, followed by
Asia/Pacific, Canada & USA, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD report) Internet usage is seeing an annual rise of about 30-percent
which is equivalent to about 2.5 percent of the global population. A growing share
of new internet users is in developing countries, which accounted for nearly a

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third of all new Internet users worldwide in 2001. Already Asia, excluding Japan
and the Republic of Korea, added almost 21 million new users to the Internet in
2001, more than North America. With 77 million people under 18 expected to be
online globally by 2007, teenagers and children constitute one of the fastest
growing Internet populations, Surfing the net is a highly regarded activity by this
age group. However, adults over 50 years old are one of the fastest growing
markets on-line. A large number of this age group has home access to the
Internet. Studies have revealed that older people are receptive to new technology
and have time, money and enthusiasm to surf the web regularly. Apart from
staying in touch with far-flung family and friends, the older people tend to
purchase merchandise and services online because shopping in stores can be
difficult for them.

Perceived Risks in Electronic Shopping

Technological developments are reducing the risk of electronic shopping by


enabling secure transactions and increasing the amount and quality of
information available to electronic shopper. However, security of the credit card
transactions remains one of the major concerns, especially in developing
economies. Entertainment and Social Experience: All non-store retail formats are
limited in the degree to which they can satisfy these entertainment and social
needs. In-store retail formats score high on this account. They provide more
benefits to consumers in terms of entertainment and social experience than
simply having merchandise readily available and helping them to buy it. Even the
most attractive and inventive web pages and video clips will not be as exciting as
the displays and activities in a Disney or Toys R Us store due to their
interactivity.
In the case of store-based retail formats the delivery time of getting merchandise
is immediate. But in the case of non-store retail formats consumers usually have
to wait several days to get merchandise, especially when the goods are of a
perishable nature and bought prior to an occasion. Number of alternatives:

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The biggest benefit of electronic retailing compared to other retail formats is the
vast number of alternatives that become available to consumers. For example, a
person living in India can shop electronically at Harrods’s in London in less time
than it takes to visit the local supermarket. However, it does have limitations.
Shoppers may visit all the sites selling the product. This may be a time
consuming exercise unless the consumer is focused and finds a few items that
they might like to study in detail. A more significant potential benefit of electronic
retailing is the ability to have an electronic agent to select a small set for the
customer to look at in detail. Service oriented retailers score higher on this
account as their salespeople know what their preferred customers want and help
indecision making by limiting the choice.

Cost of Merchandise:

Since electronic retailers do not have to spend money building and operating
stores at convenient locations, they have much lower costs, as much as 25
percent lower than in-store retailers. But the electronic retailers or the customers
will have higher costs to get the merchandise to homes, deal with the high level
of returns and attract customers to their website. It is quite costly to deliver
merchandise in small quantities to customers’ homes. Customers presently incur
these costs when they spend their time and money going to stores to pick out
and take home merchandise and then going back to the stores to return the
merchandise they don’t want.

E-TAILING CHALLENGES

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1. Zero error operations
A study by Boston Consulting Group in the United States and Canada in 1999
showed that 57% of Internet users have shopped online and 51% actually
purchased goods or services online. The typical online purchaser completed ten
transactions and spent $460 online over the previous twelve months. Yet 28% of
all attempted online purchases failed, and four out of five consumers
who made purchases online experienced at least one failed attempt over the
same period. These failures resulted from technical problems consumers
encountered with the sites, difficulties in finding products and logistical and
delivery problems after the sale. Twenty eight percent of consumers who
suffered a failed purchase attempt stopped shopping online and 23 % stopped
purchasing at the site in question.

However, the study also showed that consumers who enjoyed a satisfying first
purchase experience online were likely to spend more time and money on the
Net. The satisfied first-time purchaser typically engaged in twelve online
transactions and spent $500 during the previous twelve months. The dissatisfied
first time purchaser spent only $140 on four online transactions. About 5% of
users who had bad online shopping experiences also stopped patronizing the
retailer’s physical store. There are a number of things in the e-business
environment that can impact the consumer’s shopping experience negatively.
Primarily the e-tailers need to think about providing support for customers on two
subjects: problems with the website usage and questions or problems with the
product. Appropriate use of technology and people solutions will have to be
defined in order to support e-business initiatives by understanding, tracking and
monitoring the online behavior of customers. Normally, people have to spend a
lot of time describing the problem. The customer support team can see where the
customer was at the time of reporting the problem or what task was abandoned.
Based on which they can efficiently resolve this issue. This type of service will
not only enhance a customer’s experience on the e-tailers website but also
provide the organization with an opportunity to reduce costs. E-tailers have

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several customers survive options ranging from real–time consumer interactions
to self-service options:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): This is a self-service option that relies on


information stored in a database to assist customer transactions and provide
answers to common questions that are asked by customers. This database is
continually built over time and new customers and answers are added, based on
knowledge gathered from earlier customer interactions. Call Us Buttons: Call-us
buttons appear on the website pages, allowing the customer to call the customer
support representative on a regular phone via the web. PCs that are equipped
with speakers and a microphone may take advantage of voice-activated websites
that send voice over Internet using VoIP technology. Another variation to the
same option is ‘call-me’ buttons, where the customer can request the customer
representative to call back, though this may force the customer to go offline.

Text Chat: Text chat over the net allows a client to send a question and receive
a real –time written response. This allows almost instantaneous communication
with more than one customer at a time or in a group. Depending on how it is
implemented, it may appear to be slow to some users. Collaboration/Co-
browsing: Web collaboration technology allows a customer support
representative and the customer to share the same screen so that the
representative can see exactly what the customer is doing. This type of
interaction will help the support representative solve a problem if the customer is
stuck at a certain place on the website. On the other hand co-browsing offers the
capability where more than one person can browse a site together, with one of
the users doing the ‘driving’ while the other has secondary control. This type of
interaction will provide the representative with capability to handle a customer
who seems lost on the website.

E-Mail Management: email systems should be fully automated using artificial


intelligence (AI) or other new technologies that help the e-tailer to deliver an

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instant automatic reply based on key words or FAQs. E-mail systems can
automatically route e-mails to a call centre, where a customer support
representative can review the suggested computer-generated response or can
prepare a new response before it is sent to the customer.

Call Centers: Plain old call centers should be enhanced to support calls from
online customers as well as catalogue shoppers. Earlier, the call centers had to
be confined to a geographic area or country to provide the best support, with the
Internet, the call centers can be spread across multiple countries to provide the
same, or better, quality of support and reduce the cost of providing the support.

E-businesses are realizing that it is imperative to communicate with their


customers through a range of media options and that these technologies must
work together seamlessly for the customer. This places huge pressure on the
customer service divisions of the company. The online e-tailer will use multiple
forms of customer service including live interaction by telephone and chat,
asynchronous communications using e-mail and fax and computerized service
using natural language-based help systems.

2. Increased Gross Margin:

Every retailer ideally wants to have high value, high margin and fast moving
products. But that is often not possible. The products that fetch the most money
may not be the products that the customer wants to buy. Therefore retailing is
ultimately about being able to find a balance. E-tailers need to pay attention to
gross margin return on investment. For example, if a 25 percent margin category
sells six times a year and a 15 percent one sells 12 times a year, it is better to go
with the latter. Therefore getting the right product mix is critical to retailing. An e-
tailer should also try to cut down the direct costs by achieving distribution
efficiencies. There are many factors like the product’s retail price, the physical
requirements of the product to be shipped, and delivery speed required for the

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product category that would influence the e-tailers, distribution considerations.
Price point is a crucial determinant in distribution and business viability decisions.
The fulfillment costs associated with FMCG products are so high that
merchandise with low price points fail to achieve break even. For almost all
products, packaging and/or shipment and same day fulfillment can be vital. In
these cases the best distribution centre is the retail outlet closest to the
consumer, making personal collection or speedy individual delivery possible. E-
tailers should be, wherever possible, to adopt the vendor shipping option that
would enable it to cut down direct costs and hence increase the realizable gross
margin

3. Customer Acquisition:

Gaining information about customers and potential customers and converting


such needs into demand is more feasible in electronic commerce than any other
marketing channel. The Internet allows e-tailers to gather huge amounts of
information about their customers easily. They can use this information for
personal pricing and customer specific targeted promotions. It might also be used
to directly offer customers related products, either in real time during the on-line
shopping process or by e-mailing them with special offers. This possibility offers
benefits for customers. It is a convenient opportunity to get to know new products
they would like to buy without having to look for information in many places.
One way e-merchants attempt to lure new customers is through online coupons
especially in the case of grocery shoppers. Other categories such as toys, books
and music are also popular in terms of redemption of e-coupons. Majority of
grocery shoppers use online coupons and nearly half as many redeem online
coupons. Toy e coupons witness the highest online redemption rate at 87%
followed by books at 83%. While the potential for e-tailing seems boundless,
challenges do exist to altering customers’ expectations and behavior. Changing
customer behavior is the most complex task. The e-tailer can change customer
behaviour and increase their clientele by managing four key elements:

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Educate: As a rule, the more potential customers know about the product or
services the e-tailer is selling, the more they’re likely to buy. Education does not
only have to be about the product but also of the e-tailers’ business, quality
assurance and processes.

Guarantee: Any purchase represents a risk to the buyer. The risk may be of
paying much more than what its worth or the item may not look as good at home
as it does on the web site. The e-tailer should not only eliminate the risk but also
reduce the customer’s perception of risk by having risk-free return or exchange
policies.

Manage Expectations: The e-tailer will need to manage customers’


expectations so that they are not disappointed or frustrated by the shopping
experience. The expectations may be as simple as those about availability of the
item or shipping time or the total cost.

Satisfaction: The e-tailer, after having educated its customers, hedged their risk
and set their expectations, needs to follow through with online customer service.
A study in found that U.S. businesses lost more than $6.1 billion in potential
Internet sales in 1999 because of poor online customer service and estimated
that an industry wide failure to resolve the problem could lead to at least $ 173
billion in lost revenues through 2004. Additionally, 7.8 percent of online
transactions initiated by customers are abandoned because of poor customer
service. Thus, customer service must integrate seamlessly not only with the
company’s existing Web site, but the company’s entire operations Online and
offline.

4. Generating customer traffic:

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E-tailers adopt one of two approaches to generate traffic: Impulse Driven and
Serious Shopper Approach. Impulse purchases are defined as purchases that
signify with high emotional activation, low cognitive control and largely reactive
behavior. This occurs when consumers experience a sudden and often powerful
and persistent urge to buy something immediately even though they she had no
prior intention of doing so. Under this approach the e-tailer generates high traffic.
The more often a customer visits a site, the more likely they are to spend an
increasing amount of money and thus generate profits for the e-tailer. For
instance, in apparel, the average repeat customer spends 67% more overall in
the third year of shopping relationship with an online vendor than in the first six
months. And over three years, customers referred by online grocery shoppers
spent an extra 75% above what the original shopper spent. Products that are
generally bought on impulse purchases usually have several of the following
characteristics:

 Their price is considered average or acceptably low enough by the


consumers;
 They are low involvement goods;
 They are related to entertainment activities and hobbies;
 They are used as gifts to friends and relatives;
 They are considered “trendy” or popular items;
 They are personalized versions of common products;
 They are related to holidays or important festivals or occasions

In order to take advantage of such shopping online retailers should offer products
that can be bought on impulse. They also need to emphasis product presentation
and placement to reinforce the emotions that motivate consumer purchase
decisions. They could choose some of the following to generate higher traffic:
Ease of access: Impulse purchases can be made without requiring the customer
to leave their home in order to see the product on display.

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Low touch: Most products likely to be bought on an impulse do not require
“touching” or “tying on” which makes them appropriate for on-line retailing.
Dynamic displays: customers can be presented with such products while
navigating through the online shop; different items can be shown on each page
to maximize the likelihood of purchase; items which are related or complimentary
to those in the section of the catalogue currently viewed can be displayed.

Personalized displays: on line technology allows personalizing the items


advertised to
The customer during navigation which can be done based on the customer
preferences or demographic information (if membership is an option) or purchase
history. Personalized reminders: members or previous customers can be sent or
presented reminders about coming holidays or popular items (best sellers) in
categories they have expressed interest or made purchases in, in the past.
Personalization opportunities: customers can easily be presented with
opportunities to personalize common products (e.g. print a name on a cup) that
can initiate impulse purchases.
Advanced visualization techniques: graphics technology (animation, sound /
image effects) gives many opportunities to present a product in a way that will
impress the consumer and motivate them to buy it. Purchase expediting: on line
retailing allows on–click purchasing (for registered customers or members) which
leaves virtually no time for second thoughts or reasoning about the purchase of
product.
In case of the Serious Shopper Approach, the e-tailer builds a relationship based
on service levels and quality of products. The e-tailers have to proactively
anticipate and handle consumer expectations and ensure that what’s being
delivered is better than what users expect. So retailers constantly need to
analyze their product/service category’s relationship with consumers and ensure
that their own business isn’t becoming disconnected from general expectations.

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5. Customer Retention

E-business is redefining the way the e-tailers manage customer relationships and
place new demands for customer support throughout the sales cycle and
thereafter. This task has been made more complex by individualization of
customers. The e-tailers cannot afford to ignore even an individual customer
because word -of- mouth spreads very fast on the Internet. User groups,
communities, web chat and e-mail each have enough individual power to drain
away revenues or create bad publicity. Only personalize support and
sophisticated customer interaction can help the e-tailer convert more browsers’
into buyers, resulting in higher revenues per customer. Also, it costs about five to
eight times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one.
Therefore, it is essential for the e-tailers to build loyalty, aim to achieve zero error
operation, to create continuing excitement at the stores and have a mix of
impulse and need based products to induce customers to visit the site often.
Some notable consumer-driven e-commerce site content already in use:
I. Testimonial pages: Testimonials are a powerful tool to establish credibility,
which is especially important for a website in the early stages of existence and/or
in the early stages of developing any individual consumer relationship. A web site
can also request feedback for testimonials from happy customers and opinion
leaders.
ii. Awards: This is another credibility tool as well as a tactic to increase traffic.
Iii. Extensive and useful links or resource pages.
iv. Contests, sweepstakes, sign-ups to get visitors to voluntarily opt for future
marketing
Efforts targeting their specific consumer interests.
v. Information: according to an MSN Sidewalk survey, 74% of Internet users seek
Information
vi. Reviews/ Opinions, especially product related.
Vii. Learning networks/communities: through forums, chats, interactive software
mailing

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Lists and newsletters. This is particularly relevant to complex and/or non–
Commoditized products.
viii. A niche network of related sites: reciprocal links, banner ads, sponsorships.
New
Releases and articles can be sent to publications focused on various
products or
Product–user niches.

6. Earning Customer E-loyalty

Customer loyalty is a key driver of profitability for on line companies. Consumers


are motivated to buy more goods online when security features were enhanced
and personal information kept private. Increased loyalty can bring cost savings to
a company in many ways: lower marketing costs, lower transaction costs (such
as contract negotiation and order processing), customer turnover expenses and
lower failure costs such as warranty claims and so on. During the past decade,
customer loyalty in general has been decreasing. The introduction of electronic
commerce accelerated this trend because customers’ ability to shop, compare
and switch is extremely fast and inexpensive, given the aid of search engines,
mall directories and intelligent agents. A study found that 75% of online
customers who participated in loyalty programmes say that it is not the loyalty
factor that motivates them to make online purchases. Instead, e-commerce
providers should fill functionality gaps or face losing customers to competitors.
Only 22% of 1,200 online consumers said loyalty programmes served as an
incentive to buy online. The survey highlighted that loyalty programmes must go
beyond giving out points and should reward loyalty with improved service such
as priority service, personalized offers and e-mail updates. 72% of the
respondents said that customer service is a critical factor in shopping satisfaction
and only 41% indicated they were satisfied with the service they had
experienced. Managing privacy is an important issue in building loyalty. It is
becoming a major concern as technology gets better and companies collect large

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customer data and start trading it in the market. As a business, e-tailers would
need to clearly communicate their privacy policies to build trust with customers.

7. Managing Technology

In e-tailing business, size is no longer a determining factor for success. The


critical metric is the speed of decision-making, customer service, response time,
etc which are all shortening, owing to the technological revolution. Up-to-date,
intelligent and user-friendly technology also communicates professionalism, a
vital quality in building trust. Indian retailers are gradually but steadily upgrading
their IT infrastructure. Companies are willing to increase their IT spending from 1
percent of sales at present to 5 percent and expect clear benefits in vital areas
like inventory management and customer interfaces. In India, Shoppers Stop has
one of the most advanced IT systems in place. In a recent Economic Times
survey the company was recognized as among the most IT-savvy companies in
India. It has already pumped in over 10 crores in to IT systems - merchandise
management systems, inventory management, CRM package etc, and have
futuristic plans to continue its spate of investments. The main aim of the
company is to see that the time spent by their merchandisers on mundane
functions is minimized and they can spend more time on strategy related issues.
However, e-tailers should not fall prey to becoming a slave to technology. In the
aftermath of the dotcom blowout and the downturn in the economy e-tailers are
reviewing strategies, processes and questioning IT spending as they strive to
improve performance and boost profits in a difficult economic climate. It is more
critical to have a robust, reliable and scalable software platform than have bells
and whistles. Therefore e-tailers should not try to attract customers with flashy
technology with fancy graphics, animations and sound effects but should offer
more product information. A recent survey found that visitors were twice as likely
to return to a site with faster loading pages as they were to sites that provided
rich media. It also found that percent of those surveyed would be more likely to
return to a site that offered more product information.

20
Channel Comparison

Bricks-and- Catalog Retail e-Retail


Mortar Retail
Location and Physical Print materials Location is the
presence buildings Web address,
"Portable store"
branded and available globally
easily identified through any
Sent to targeted
and found Internet connection
mailing lists

Most traditional Can establish a


and oldest presence through
location for partnerships and
retail cross-promotions
(links between
Commands
sites)
attention in the
retail landscape
How Use of store Page layouts Web page layout
merchandising space and "fix
Organization of Relationship
is accomplished Turing"
catalog between product
Signage and and text
Relationship
other product
between Signage and other
information
product and text product
tools
information tools

Category, search,
and sorting
mechanisms

21
Bricks-and- Catalog Retail e-Retail
Mortar Retail

Interactive product
locators
Options for Pricing Pricing Pricing strategies
promotional strategies and strategies and and campaigns
activity campaigns can campaigns can can be
be implemented be implemented implemented
on a daily basis only as "instantaneously,"
frequently as depending on
new catalogs internal
are distributed organizational
constraints
Options for Product must Product is held Multiple inventory
inventory be available at at warehouse ownership options,
multiple store until ordered with most
locations to and shipped to prominent being
maximize customer traditional, "just-in-
purchasing time," and a hybrid
opportunities of the two
(with the
exception of
products
intended for
special order)

E-Retail + Traditional Retail Operations

Sites like macys.com and gap.com, as well as relative late comer’s walmart.com
and jcpenney.com, are evolving into online branches of brick-and-mortar
operations. This kind of site is not limited to the rich, famous, and nationally well-
branded. Many smaller stores have used the Web to broaden their market by

22
opening online branches, which make available to Web shoppers goods that
were once accessible only to people near the store.

The inverse image of this model is also evident: businesses that started out as
Web e-retailers but have since added brick-and-mortar operations to their sales
channels. Gazoontite.com launched its Web site selling hypoallergenic products
before opening its flagship store in San Francisco. Additional stores have opened
on both coasts and in the Chicago area. Originally intended to reinforce the site's
branding and credibility, the brick-and-mortar operations have proven to be a
huge success, even as the e-retail site has stopped selling.

The concepts outlined in this book apply to traditional retail stores and e-retail
sites. If your site would benefit from a storefront, the same skills and metrics
should guide your decisions. For the purposes of this book, however, we focus
on the e-retail component of the business.

E-Retail + Catalog Operations

In this category are well-known catalog merchants like Lands' End, which has
expanded its popular direct merchant business through landsend.com. For
catalog retailers, expansion to the Web is a relatively easy development. They
already conduct most of their sales through remote media and are already
equipped to handle customer service and order fulfillment.

This model also has an inverse, in the form of dot-coms that have added print
catalogs or other print sales tools to their online site offerings. Print sales tools
can serve as a tangible reiteration of an e-retail brand and its product offerings.
Garden.com, for example, added a print catalog to the many merchandising
techniques the company uses to drive sales at its Web site.

The consistent, physical reminder of your name and brand can be an important
aspect of your marketing, regardless of whether you intend to achieve sales
through both a print catalog and your retail site.

23
E-Retail + Web Site Content

Selling goods is a complementary component of business for these sites, which


may rely on other sources of revenue for some portion of their business. Other
components may include community building, editorial and informational content,
product reviews, and recommendations or other features to draw users to the
site.

The combination of targeted information and retail is a powerful one that cannot
be easily replicated offline. To be sure, many traditional retailers of all kinds offer
their customers print newsletters, loyalty programs, educational opportunities,
and more. However, the Web uniquely enables customization of that content,
allowing customers to pull from the site exactly the content they want and need,
when they want it, and, many times, in the form they want it. From the e-retailer's
perspective, this customization is automated; the company need not employ
envelope stuffers to select and mail the appropriate materials to a customer on a
regular basis. From the customer's perspective, this feature creates the
experience of becoming a "market of one," with a direct relationship to the
retailer.

Content and e-retail sites may mix their revenue streams in a variety of ways with
any number of tools such as membership programs, advertising, sponsorships,
retail, subscriptions, and syndication of content. Affiliate programs, which credit a
referring Web site for sales made through the site, can make almost any site a de
facto e-commerce site. For the purposes of this book, we considered sites that
rely on product sales of 50 percent or more of their revenues.

FashionDish.com and Baby Center are both content-driven e-retail sites. Both
sites rely on targeted content (celebrity gossip, parenting information) to bring
customers to the site and keep them coming back.

What format best suits your business? What sales channels will prove successful
for you? The balance between Web sites, brick-and-mortar stores, and catalogs

24
depends on your retail strategy, goals, and budget. Although our focus
throughout the book will be on the Web-based retail operation, take some time to
consider whether additional sales channels make sense for your product, market,
and unique selling proposition.

25
Chapter – 2

DESIGN OF THE STUDY

2.1 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

Even though the government of India has taken positive measures to facilitate
the speedy growth of E- retailing by the introduction of cyber laws, reduction of
taxes on infrastructure etc people are hesitating to buy on lines due to confusions
on security and payment methods. There are also frauds taking place in credit
cards which can happen while it on the internet. Inadequate infrastructure and
excessive tariffs also make the situation worse.

26
2.2 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE DESSERTATION

In India E-retailing is still a relatively unknown and unused entity, but with the
governments open attitude towards progression, lot of infrastructure is dedicated
to this area. The new economics of information can transform business
definitions industry definitions and competitive advantage. The most tables of
industries, the most focused of business models, and the strongest of brands can
be blown to bits by new information technologies. It can come from nowhere and
demolish brands & business that have been established for decades, ever
centuries.

In India where the internet users are growing at an alarming rate it will be helpful
for the consumer as well as for the companies, to discuss on e-retailing models,
payment methods, security features, future trends and benefits etc. predictions
made on this study can be used as a basis to foresee the future level of
business.

2.3 REVIEW OF LITERATURE


a. E-retailing business models for Indian retail chains(Anand Sriram)
This study gives an in-depth analysis of e-retailing in India and gives a clear
picture, where India stands in e-retailing. The study depicts that India has got
lot of potential to grab in this area. But we are still in the infancy stage due to
infrastructure shortage and security threats. This area has to be tapped
properly for more foreign exchange.
b. A study on electronic commerce(CCS-5th term study
It deals with the issues regarding electronic payments and the other legal
issues in e-commerce. It also deals with the internet strategy for Indian
Brick and mortar companies. It also depicts the imperatives imposed by e-
commerce in apparel industry and FMCG products.
C. e-business models and implementation strategies (Sunil Dutta)

27
It contains different internet business models, internet revenue generation
models and the success of different models. The article also depicts the
prediction of the growth of internet users in the coming three years.

2.4 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY


 To find the factors that amount to the growth of e- retailing in India.
 To find out the challenges of e-retailing in India.
 To find out the target group in on line selling.
 To find out some of the E- retailing myths

2.5 SAMPLING METHODS USED

 PROBABILITY APPROACH: - Since every unit in the sampling frame has


an equal chance of being included in the sample probability approach is
used.

 PROCESS: - A rigorous random selection process is undertaken to rule


out the bias occurring on account of sampling. The sampling frame is
serialized and then subject to a random number table selection of the
sampling units is made.

2.6 TOOLS FOR DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS

Questionnaire method is used to collect the primary data. Simple random


sampling is used to collect primary data. Each unit in the population has an equal
chance of being included in the sample. The technique of exploratory data
analysis is used to make predictions till the year 2007 by finding the growth rate.

2.7 DESIGN OF THE STUDY

28
a) Secondary data collection
b) Analysis of secondary data
c) Find the gaps in information in the secondary data
d) Data collection through questionnaire method
e) Analysis of primary data
f) Prepare the final report

2.8 LIMITATIONS

 Time and cost constraints restricts the survey some extent.

 The findings of the study will be based on the information provided by


respondents and hence may be biased.

CHAPTER SCHEME

1. INTRODUCTION
2. RESEARCHN DESIGN
3. INDUSTRY PROFILE
4. ANALYSIS AND INTERPRETATION OF DATA
5. SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND
RECOMMENDATIONS

29
Chapter – 3

Industrial profile

INDIA AS AN EMERGING MARKET FOR GLOBAL RETAILERS


Standing on the threshold of a retail revolution and witnessing a fast changing
retail landscape, India is all set to experience the phenomenon of a global village.
India presents a grand opportunity to the world at large, to use it as a business
hub. A 'Vibrant Economy', India tops A T Kearney's list of emerging markets for
global retailers. The 2nd fastest growing economy in the world, the 3rd largest

30
economy in terms of GDP in the next 5 years and the 4th largest economy in
PPP terms after USA, China & Japan, India is rated among the top 10 FDI
destinations.

With a stable Government with 2nd stage reforms in place, India can be
reasonably proud of having put in place some of the most widely accepted
Corporate Ethics (Labour Laws, Child Labour Regulations, Environmental
Protection Lobby, Intellectual Property Rights, and Social Responsibility) and
major tax reforms including implementation of VAT, all of which make India a
perfect destination for business expansion.

India is the fastest-growing market in Asia Pacific for international tourist


spending, according to latest Visa Asia Pacific release. The economy is growing
by over 8 per cent a year and India's growth rate can actually exceed that of
China by 2015. The Indian economy is expected to grow larger than Britain's by
2022 and Japan's by 2032 to become the third-largest economy in the world after
China and US and finally become the second largest economy after China by
2050.

The Retail Evolution

With escalating consumerism, unprecedented awareness, and a youth-heavy


customer base, India is the 'Promised Land' for the Global brands and retailers.
Faced with fast saturating Western markets they are beginning to recognize the
Indian consumer mass as the world's most probable unexplored gold mine.

31
A T Kearney's Global Retail Development Index' gives a clear message to global
retailers on India: Move now or forego prime locations and market positions that
will become saturated quickly. Global retailers that missed out on capturing first-
mover advantage in China can make up for it in India. The retail market is
changing fast, along with the lifestyles and buying habits of India's burgeoning
population. As people look for ways to spend their money, global retailers should
be looking for prime locations

Investments

A report by investment banker Goldman Sachs, credits India with the potential to
deliver the fastest growth over the next 50 years. According to Standard &
Poor's, foreign direct investment (FDI) to India is likely to grow the fastest in next
few years. As targeted FDI is to hit $13 billion in the 12 months ending March
2007, more than double India's previous best of $5.5 billion hit in the previous
year.

India is investing over US $130 billion in infrastructure by the end of this decade.
Indian retail industry itself has attracted investment of over INR 200 billion (over
$4 billion) in creating infrastructure, systems & shop-fit. The additional retail
space is expected to add INR 300 billion ($ 6.67 billion) of business to organized
retail.

India's stock market continues to rise at unprecedented levels and foreign


investors are flooding in. The quantum of investments is likely to skyrocket as the
inherent attractiveness of the segment lures more and more investors to earn
large profits.

The Indian Consumer

With the largest young population in the world - over 890 million people below 45
years of age! India is indeed a resplendent market. India has more English
speaking people than in the whole of Europe taken together. Its 300 million odd

32
middle class, the "Real" consumers, is catching the attention of the world. As the
economy grows so does India's middle class. It is estimated that 70 million
Indians earn a salary of over INR 800,000 ($18,000) a year, a figure that is set to
rise to 140 million by 2011. The number of effective consumers is expected to
swell to over 600 million by 2010 - sufficient to establish India as one of the
largest consumer markets of the world.

Private Consumption & Retail

With the changing face of retail, the Indian consumer is in for a rapid
transformation. While the consumer spending continues to grow at double digit
figures, leading retailers have recorded an increase in sales between 50 to 100
percent in the calendar year 2006 over the previous year.

According to India Retail Report 2007, the total private consumption touched INR
20,000 billion (US $ 445 billion) at current prices in the calendar year 2006 with
organized sector accounting for INR55,000 crore ($12.4 billion) business
increasing its share to 4.6 per cent of the total Indian Retail Value that stood at
INR12,000 billion ($270 billion). Moving forward, organized retailing is projected
to grow at the rate of about 37 per cent in 2007 and 42 per cent in 2008.
Organized retail in India has the potential to add over INR 2,000 billion ($45
billion) business by the Year 2010.

The consumer spending is ultimately pushing the economy into a growth-and-


liberalization mode. The Indian market is becoming bolder by the day, with the
economy now expected to grow at over 8 per cent and average salaries being
hiked by about 15 per cent, there will be lot more consumption.

Opportunity for Global Players

Favorable demographic and psychographic changes relating to India's consumer


class, international exposure, availability of quality retail space, wider availability
of products and brand communication are some of the factors that are driving the

33
retail in India. Over the last few years, many international retailers have entered
the Indian market on the strength of raising affluence levels of the young Indian
population along with the heightened awareness of global brands, international
shopping experiences and the increased availability of retail real estate space.

Development of India as a sourcing hub shall further make India as an attractive


retail opportunity for the global retailers. Retailers like Wal-Mart, GAP, Tosco, JC
Penney, H&M, Karstadt-Quelle, Sears (Kmart), etc stepping up their sourcing
requirements from India and moving from third-party buying offices to
establishing their own wholly owned / wholly managed sourcing & buying offices
shall further make India an attractive retail opportunity for the global players.

Manufacturers in industries such as FMCG, consumer durables, paints etc are


waking up to the growing clout of the retailers as a shift in bargaining power from
the former to the latter becomes more discernible. Already, a number of
manufacturers in India, in line with trends in developed markets, have set up
dedicated units to service the retail channel. Also, instead of viewing retailers
with suspicion, or as a 'necessary evil' as was the case earlier, manufacturers
are beginning to acknowledge them as channel members to be partnered with for
providing solutions to the end-consumer more effectively.

Though lucrative opportunities exist across product categories, food and grocery,
nevertheless, presents the most significant potential in the Indian context as
consumer spending is highest on food. Further, 'wet groceries' i.e. fresh fruits
and vegetables is the most promising segment within food and grocery as very
few organized retailers have tapped this opportunity in spite of wet groceries
being the preferred choice of most Indian households.

The next level of opportunities in terms of product retail expansion lies in


categories such as apparel, Jewellery and accessories, consumer durables,
catering services and home improvement. These sectors have already witnessed
the emergence of organized formats though more players are expected to join

34
the bandwagon. Some of the niche categories like Books, Music and Gifts offer
interesting opportunities for the retail players.

Currently the fashion sector in India commands a lion's share in the organized
retail pie. This is in line with the retail evolution in other parts of the world, where
fashion led the retail development in the early stages of evolution and was
followed by other categories like Food & Grocery, Durables etc. Fashion across
lifestyle categories makes up for over 50 per cent of organized retail and with the
kind of retail space growth that India is witnessing we can certainly foresee a
very healthy prospect for the fashion industry.

As nations become richer, their people start appreciating luxury goods and fine
dining. India has over one million such people and this number is expected to
triple by 2010. A recent report divides consumers for luxury goods into four
categories - luxuriated: source of affluence is largely traditional and inherited;
New rich: adequate spending power and are acquiring orientation to luxury;
Getting there: acquiring spending power and spend mainly on education, housing
and large automobiles; Mid-affluent: are also acquiring orientation to luxury but
unlikely to indulge beyond a limit.

The most important categories for luxury goods consumers are housing, travel,
education, higher end automobiles, electronics and other home improvement
products besides fashion, lifestyle and fine dining. The most important reason for
luxury retail not taking off in India so far has been the lack of luxury retail
environment. The presence has been primarily confined to luxury hotels' with
shopping plazas.

Retail Formats

The retail format is the store ‘package’ that the retailer presents to the shopper. A
format is defined as a type of retail mix, used by a set of retailers. Store Formats
are formats based on the physical store where the vendor interacts with the

35
customer. It is the mix of variables that retailers use to develop their business
strategies and constitute the mix as assortment, price, transactional convenience
and experience. Therefore each retailer needs to evaluate the enablers and
deterrents in the retail marketplace. This primarily involves identifying the key
drivers of growth, the shoppers’ profile and shopper expectations .It also means
evaluating the nature of competition and challenges in the market place. Then
the retailer decides the elements of the retail mix to satisfy the target markets’
needs more effectively than its competitors. The choice of retail mix elements will
enable it to decide the type of format or structure of business.
Classification of Formats
The term retail institution refers to the basic format or structure of a business.
Classification for Retail institutions is necessary to enable firms to better
understand and enact their own strategies: selecting an organizational mission,
choosing an ownership alternative, defining the goods/ service category and
setting objectives. The classification is not mutually exclusive; that is, an
institution may be correctly placed in more than one category. For example, a
department store unit may be part of a chain, have a store-based strategy,
accept mail order sales, and have a Web site. These are commonly used
typographies. They are likely to vary between countries. For instance, a Kirana
store in India or car boot sales in the UK. Ownership Based Retailing is one of
the few sectors in our economy where entrepreneurial activity is extensive.
Although retailers are primarily small (80% of all stores are operated by firms with
one outlet and over one-half of all firms have two or fewer paid employees), there
are also very large retailers. Retail firms may be independently owned, chain
owned, franchisee operated, leased departments, owned by manufacturers or
wholesalers, consumer owned. From a positioning and operating perspective,
each ownership format delivers unique value. Retail executives must work on the
strengths and weaknesses inherent in each of these formats to be successful.

1. Independents

36
An Independent retailer owns a single retail unit. In the United States, they
account for nearly 80 percent of total retail establishments and firms generate
just 3 percent of total U.S. store sales. One half of all independents is run entirely
by the owners and/or their families and has no paid workers. The high number of
independent retailers is associated with the ease of entry into the marketplace,
owing to low capital requirement, no or relatively simple, licensing procedures.
The ease of entry into retailing is reflected in the low market shares of the leading
firms in many goods /service categories as a percentage of total category sales.
For example, in the grocery store category where large chains are quite strong,
the five largest grocery retailers account for only about 22 percent of sales. A
similar large format in India contributed to less than 3% of total retail sales. The
Indian retail market has around 12 million outlets and has the largest retail outlet
density in the world. However, most of these outlets are basic mom-and-pop
stores with very basic offerings, fixed prices, and no ambience. These are highly
competitive stores due to cheap land prices and labour. Also, most of the time
these stores save tax as they belong to the small industry sector. Due to relative
ease of entry into retailing, there is a great deal of competition resulting in the
high rate of retail business failures among new firms. According to Small
Business Administration estimates one-third of new U.S. retailers do not survive
their first year and two –thirds do not continue beyond their third year. Most of the
failures involve independents. These stores have a great deal of flexibility in
choosing retail formats and locations. They target smaller consumer segments
rather than mass markets. Since only one store location is involved, detailed
specifications can be set for determining best location, product assortments,
prices, store hours, and other factors consistent with their target segment. They
have low investments in terms of lease, fixtures, workers and merchandise.
Thirdly, independents often act as specialists and acquire skills in a niche for a
particular goods/service category. Decision-making in these stores is usually
centralized as the owner operator is typically on the premises, which have a
strong entrepreneurial drive as they have personal investment in the business,
success or failure has huge implications, and there is a lot of ego involvement.

37
They are consistent in their efforts as they generally adopt just one strategy.
There are some disadvantages of independent retailing. They have limited
bargaining power with suppliers as they often buy in small quantities. Reordering
may also be tough if minimum order requirements are too high for them to
qualify. To overcome this problem, a number of independents form buying
groups. Due to low economies in buying and maintaining inventory, the
transportation, ordering, and handling costs are higher. These stores often have
operations that are labour intensive, sometimes with little computerization.
Ordering, taking inventory, marking items, ringing up sales and bookkeeping may
be done manually as most independents tend to find investment in technology
and training not worthy. Compared to other formats, Independents incur high
costs of advertising due to limited access to advertising media and may pay
higher fees compared to regular users. There is often disruption when the owner
is ill, on vacation, or retires. They also allocate limited amount of time and
resources to long term planning. To offset the disadvantage of economies, these
retailers offer complementary merchandise and services. Often while all stores in
the chain offer the same merchandise, independents can provide merchandise
compatible with local market needs.

2. Chains
A chain retailer operates multiple outlets (store units) under common. In
developed economies, they account for nearly a quarter of retail outlets and over
50 percent of retail sales. Retail chains can range from two stores to retailers
with over 1,000 stores. Some retail chains are divisions of larger corporations or
holding companies. The select large retail chains in India are shown in Annexure-
I Chain Retailers have several advantages. They enjoy strong bargaining power
with suppliers due to the volumes of purchases. They generally bypass
wholesalers. Many of them buy directly from the manufacturers. Suppliers
service the orders from chains promptly and extend a higher level of proper
service and selling support. New brands reach these stores faster. Most of these
chains sell private. Chains achieve efficiency due to the centralization of

38
purchasing and warehousing and computerization. Wider geographic coverage of
markets allows chains to utilize all forms of media. Most of the chains invest
considerable time and resources in long term planning, monitoring opportunities
and threats. Chain retailers suffer from limited flexibility, as they need to be
consistent throughout in terms of prices, promotions, and product assortments.
Chain retailers have high investments in multiple leases, fixtures, product
assortments and employees. Due to their spread, these retailers have reduced
control, lack of communication and time delays. Thus, such retailers focus on
managing a specific retail format for a better strategic advantage and increased
profitability. Some chain retailers capitalize on their widely known image and
adopt flexibility to market changes.

3. Franchising

Franchising is a contractual agreement between a franchiser and a franchisee


that allows the franchisee to operate a retail outlet using a name and format
developed and supported by the franchiser. Approximately one –third of all U.S.
retail sales are made by franchisees. In a franchise contract the franchisee pays
a lump sum plus a royalty on all sales for the right to operate a store in a specific
location. The franchisee also agrees to operate the outlet in accordance with
procedures prescribed by the franchisers. The franchiser provides7 assistance in
locating and building the store, developing the products and/or services sold,
management training and advertising. There are two types of franchising:
product/ trademark and business format. In product/ trademark franchising,
franchisees acquire the identities of the franchiser by agreeing to sell the latter’s
product and/or operate under the latter’s names. But they are independent in
their operation. They may draw certain operating rules in consultation with the
franchiser. In a business format franchising arrangement, the two parties have a
synergetic relationship. The franchiser provides assistance in strategic and
operation issues besides the right to sell goods and services. The franchisees
can take advantage of prototype stores, standardized product lines and

39
cooperative advertising. Three structural arrangements are found in retail
franchising. (a) Manufacturer- Retailer; where a manufacturer the right to sell
goods and related services through a licensing agreement as in the case of
automotive dealers and petroleum products dealers. (b) Wholesaler- retailer;
which may take the form of a voluntary franchise system as in consumer
electronic stores or co-operative where a group of retailers set up a franchise
system and share the ownership and operations of a wholesaling organization.
(c) Service sponsor retailer, where a service firm licenses individual retailers to
let them offer specific service package to consumers, such as auto rental, hotels
and fast food restaurants. This arrangement has several advantages. Individual
franchisees can own retail enterprises with relatively small capital investments.
Franchisers gain a national or, global presence quickly and with less investment.
It improves cash flow as money is obtained when goods are delivered rather than
when they are sold. Since franchisees are owners and not employees, they have
a greater incentive to work hard. Franchisees may also have to face certain
disadvantages. Over saturation could occur adversely affecting the sales and
profits of each unit. They may enter into contract provisions that give the
franchisers undue advantage. They can exclude franchisees from, or limit their
involvement in, the strategic planning process. Franchisers also face a lot of
potential problems. Franchisees can harm a firm’s overall reputation and/ or
customer loyalty if they do not adhere to company standards. Intra-franchise
competition is not desirable. Ineffective franchised units directly impact franchiser
profitability from selling services, materials, or products to the franchisees and
from royalty fees. Franchisees, in greater numbers, are seeking independence
from franchiser rules and regulations.

4. Leased Department

A Leased Department is a department in a retail store rented generally by a


manufacturer. The lessee is responsible for all aspects of business and pays the
store a rent. The store may impose operating restrictions for the leased

40
department to ensure the overall consistency. The leased departments choose to
operate in categories that are generally on the fringe of the store’s major product
lines, such as in-store beauty salons, banks, photographic studios and food
courts. Leased departments help the stores in generating greater traffic and
providing one stop shopping. They benefit from expertise of lessees in personal
management, merchandise displays, the recording of items, as store personnel
might lack the merchandising ability to handle and sell certain goods and
services. This is also a regular source of revenue and reduces costs as leased
departments pay for inventory and personal expenses. This may also be a
source of conflict with lessees as leased departments may use operating
procedures which conflict with those of the stores. The lessees may adversely
affect stores’ images and customers may blame problems on the host stores
rather than on the lessees. The leased department operator’s benefit as the main
store generates immediate sales for leased departments. This arrangement
reduces expenses through economics of scale (like pooled advertising) and
shared facilities (like security equipment and display windows). Also lessees’
images are aided by there relationships with popular stores. However, there may
be inflexibility due to the restrictions imposed by the operations of the main store.
There is always the fear that the stores may raise the rent or may not renew
leases when they expire even if lessees are successful.

5. Vertical Marketing System

A Vertical Marketing System consists of all levels of independently owned


businesses along a channel of distribution. Goods and services are normally
distributed through one of these types of vertical marketing systems:
independent, partially integrated, and fully integrated.

41
In an independent firm vertical marketing system, there are levels of
independently owned firms: manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers. Such a
system is most often used when the manufacturers have to reach a wider market
or retailers are small. Also when company resources are low and channel
members want to share costs and risks such an arrangement is desirable.
Independent retailers capitalize on their targeted customer base and build loyalty
by playing the role of a friendly shop-owner and build a good word –of –mouth
communication.
With a partially integrated vertical marketing system, two independently owned
businesses along a channel perform all production and distribution functions
without the aid of the third. The most common form of this system is when a
manufacturer and retailer complete transactions and shipping, storing and other
distribution functions in the absence of independent wholesalers. A partially
integrated system is most appropriate if manufacturers and retailers are large,
selective or exclusive distribution is sought, unit sales are moderate, company
resources are high, greater channel control is desired, and existing wholesalers
are too expensive or unavailable. Through a fully integrated vertical marketing
system, a single Company performs all production and distribution functions by
eliminating the other channel members. The advantages to a firm are total
control over strategy, direct contact with final consumers, and higher retail mark-
ups without raising prices, self-sufficiency, and exclusivity over goods and
services offered, and retention of profits within the company. In the past, this
system was usually employed only by manufacturers, but now retailers have also
moved upward in the chain. Some wholesalers have bothered either way to
deliver better value to their customers.
6. Consumer Co-operatives
A Consumer Cooperative is a retail firm in which a group of consumers invest in
the enterprise. The officers are elected. Consumer-members share the profits or
savings that accrue. Such retailers are many in umber but small in size and are
most popular in food retailing. They are started mainly to guard against the
malpractice that many retailers indulge in and either charge higher prices or offer

42
inconsistent quality of merchandise. The consumer co-operatives are limited
because consumers are usually not expert in buying, handling and selling goods
and services and the cost savings and low selling prices have not been as
expected in many cases.

7. Store Based Retailer

Retail institutions may be classified by store based strategy mix and divided into
food–oriented and general merchandise.

8. Food- Oriented Retailers

Six major strategic formats are used by food oriented retailers: convenience
store, conventional supermarket, food based superstore, combination store, box
(limited line store) and warehouse store. These are discussed in the following
subsections.

9. Convenience Stores
A convenience store is a well-located store. The ease of shopping and
personalized services are the major reasons for its patronage, even when it
charges average to above average prices, and carries a moderate number of
items.. It stays open for long hours and provides an average atmosphere and
customer services. It is often also called the "mom–and-pop" stores. It is useful
for fill-in merchandise and emergency purchases. Many customers shop at least
two to three times a week at these stores. The convenience stores face most
competition from supermarkets that have started providing longer hours and
better stocks of non-food items. Conventional Supermarket a conventional
supermarket is a self-service food store offering groceries, meat, produce with
limited sales of non-food items, such as health and beauty aids and general

43
merchandise at low prices. They are large in size and carry 9,000 to 11,000
Items. They are chosen due to volume sales, self-service, low prices and easy
parking. The self-service nature allows supermarkets to cut costs, as well as
increase volume. The conventional supermarket was once the most common
format.8 Conventional supermarkets have to deal with intense competition from
other types of food stores. Convenience stores offer greater customer
convenience; food based superstores and combination stores have more product
lines and greater variety, as well as better gross margins; and box and
warehouse stores have lower operating costs and prices. Membership clubs, with
their discount prices, also provide competition – especially now that they have
expanded food lines. Discount store chains are able to undercut supermarket
prices because their efficient distribution systems focus on reducing inventory
investments by selling fast moving items.

10. Food-based Superstores:

Superstores are large supermarkets ranging from 20,000 to 50,000 square feet.
They cater to consumer’s grocery needs and offer them the ability to buy fill-in
general merchandise. The advantages of food-based superstores are that they
are efficient, offer a degree of one-stop shopping, stimulate impulse purchases
and feature high profit general merchandise. Other advantages are that it is
easier and less costly to redesign and convert supermarkets into food-based
superstores than combination stores. Management expertise is better focused in
food-based superstores. Many consumers feel more comfortable shopping in
true food stores than combination stores. Most of the supermarket chains have
also started offering food to compete with these stores.

11. Combination Stores/ Supercentres

Combination stores are food-based retailers that unite supermarket and general
merchandise sales in one facility with the latter typically accounting for 25 to 40

44
percent of total sales. They achieve operational efficiencies and cost savings
through their large-scale operations. Consumers like one-stop shopping and
travel further to visit these stores. Impulse sales are high. A super centre is a
combination store blending an economy supermarket with a discount department
store. Traditional supermarkets are facing serious new competitive challenges
from supercentres at the price-conscious end of the market and from "home meal
replacement" providers at the convenience-oriented end. Supercentres with an
average size of about 150,000 sq.ft. Devote about 40% of their space to grocery
items and the rest to discount general merchandise.

12. Box (Limited-Line) Store:

The Box (Limited-Line) Store is a food based discounter that focuses on a small
selection of items, moderate hours of operation (compared to other
supermarkets), few additional services, and limited manufacturer brands. There
stock usually less items, few or no refrigerated perishables, and few sizes and
brands per item. Items are displayed in cut cases. Customers do their own
bagging. Box stores depend on low – priced private-label brands. They aim to
price merchandise 20 to 30 percent below supermarkets.

13. Warehouse Store:

A warehouse club is a retailer that offers a limited assortment of food and general
merchandise, with limited services, at low prices to ultimate consumers and small
businesses. It appeals to price–conscious consumers, who must be members to
shop there. Its inventory turnover rate is several times that of a department store.
Stores are large and located in low–rent areas. They have simple interiors and

45
concrete floors. Aisles are wide to facilitate pick up pallets of merchandise.
Specific brands and items differ from time to time as the stores buy merchandise
available on special promotions from manufacturers. The clubs pass on these
savings to shoppers through lower prices. Most warehouse clubs have two types
of members. Wholesale members who are small business people and individual
members who purchase for their own use.

The major retailing challenge faced by membership clubs is the limited size of
their final consumer market segment. The main limiting factor is the lack of brand
continuity. Since products are usually bought when special deals are available,
brands may be temporarily or permanently out of stock. In addition, many
consumers do not like shopping in warehouse settings. General Merchandise
Retailers

14. Department Store

A department store is a large retail unit with an extensive assortment (width and
depth) of goods and services that are organized into separate departments for
purposes of buying, promotion, customer service and control. It has the greatest
selection of any general merchandise retailer and often serves as the anchor
store in a shopping centre or district. Department Stores are unique in terms of
the shopping experience they offer, the services they provide and the
atmosphere of the store. They offer a full range of services from altering clothing
to home delivery. Over its history, the department store has been responsible for
many innovations, including advertising prices, enacting a one-price policy
(whereby all shoppers pay the same price for the same good or service.),
developing computerized checkouts, offering money back guarantees, adding
branch stores and decentralized management However, during the past few
years, industry wide sales growth of traditional department stores has lagged
behind the full line discount stores. They no longer have brand exclusivity for a
lot of items they sell; manufacturer brands are also available at specialty and

46
discount outlets. Many firms, instead of creating their own brands, have signed
exclusive licensing agreements with fashion designers. This perpetuates
customer loyalty to the designer and not the store. There are more price
conscious consumers than before, and they are attracted to discount retailers.
The popularity of shopping malls has aided specialty stores since consumers can
accomplish one-stop shopping through several specialty stores in the same mall
or shopping centre. Some department stores are too big and have too much
unproductive selling space and low turnover of merchandise.

15. Full –line Discount Store

A full–line discount store targets the middle -class and lower- middle class
shoppers who looking for good value. It conveys the image of a high-volume, low
cost and fast turnover outlet. It sells a broad merchandise assortment for less
than conventional prices. It is likely to carry the range of product lines expected
at department stores. Products are normally sold via self-service with minimal
assistance in any single department. Centralized checkout service is provided.
Buildings, equipment and fixtures are less expensive; and operating costs are
lower than for traditional department stores. To respond to category specialists,
full –line discount retailers are creating more attractive shopping environments,
placing more emphasis on apparel, developing private label merchandise, and
increasing store visits by offering easily accessible convenience store
merchandise.

16. Specialty Stores

A traditional specialty store concentrates on a limited number of complementary


merchandise categories and provides a high level of service. They are smaller in
size.

17. Drugstores

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Drugstores are specialty stores that concentrate on health and personal
grooming merchandise. Pharmaceuticals often represent over 50 percent of
drugstore sales and an even greater percentage of their profits. Drugstores are
facing considerable competition from discount stores and supermarkets adding
pharmacies. In response, the major drugstore chains are building larger stand-
alone stores offering a wider assortment of merchandise, more frequently
purchased consumer products and drive through windows for picking up
prescriptions. To build customer loyalty, the chains are also changing the role of
their pharmacists from dispensing pills to providing health care assistance and
personalized service. For example, Planet Health, Subhiksha.

18. Category Killers

The category killer concept originated in the U.S. due to abundance of cheap
land and the dominant car culture. A category specialist is a discount store that
offers a narrow variety but deep assortment of merchandise. These retailers are
basically discount specialty stores. By offering a complete assortment in a
category at low prices, category specialists can “kill” a category of merchandise
for other retailers. Most category specialists use a self-service approach. They
use their buying power to negotiate low prices, excellent terms and assured
supply when items are scarce. The category killers are facing reduced profits as
the competition is focusing on prices. They have difficulty differentiating
themselves on other elements of retail mix. All competitors in a category provide
similar assortments and the same level of service. According to a report in the
European Retail Digest, there are some that believe that the category killer
format will burn out, leaving only a few hardened experts, as happened with the
warehouse club sector. In response to this increasing competitive intensity, the
category killers continue to concentrate on reducing costs by increasing
operational efficiency, acquiring smaller chains to gain economies of scale and

48
expanding into less competitive international markets. France, Germany, Spain
and the UK provide attractive markets for expanding category killers.
Interestingly, with the clampdown on out-of-town developments in the UK,
homegrown category killers that are typically located in town centers will benefit
from legislative changes in this area. Some out of town category killers are
choosing to downsize their format to make it fit small towns.

19. DIY Stores

A home improvement centre is a category specialist offering equipment and


material used by do-it–yourselfers and contractors to make home improvements.
It focuses on providing material and information that enables consumers to
maintain and improve their homes. While merchandise in these stores is
displayed in a warehouse atmosphere, salespeople are available to assist
customers in selecting merchandise through demonstrations and workshops.
They are not facing the same level of competitive intensity as other category
specialists, because the merchandise varies considerably across the country and
there are opportunities for differentiation on customer service.

20. Off-Price Stores:

An off-price chain offers brand–names and designer labels and sells them at a
low price in an efficient, limited service environment. An off-price store buys other
retailers’ cancelled orders, manufacturers’ irregulars and overruns and end-of–
season items for a fraction of their original wholesale prices. Due to this pattern
of opportunistic buying, the same type of merchandise may not be in stock when
customers visit the store. Typically, different bargains will be available on each
visit. Their inventory turnover is far higher than that of departmental stores. The
most crucial aspect of the strategy for off-price chains involves buying
merchandise and establishing long-term relationships with suppliers. Three
special types of off-price retailers are outlet, closeout, and single-price retail

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stores. Over the past few years, the sales growth of off-price retailers has
slowed. The challenge is from an increase in sales and promotion in department
stores, consumers being more fashionable, brand name merchandise in
department stores at the same discounted prices offered by off-price retailers.
Also, more sophisticated inventory management systems have reduced the
amount of excess production that can be bought by off-price retailers. Therefore
the manufacturers have sought opportunities to apply this successful format in
foreign markets, particularly in the UK. By the early 1990s, the UK market
appeared to be attractive for the introduction of factory outlet centers for a variety
of reasons. First, the growth of retail formats in out of town locations
(superstores, retail parks, and regional centers) was conducive to a fourth wave
of development. Second, this trend to out of town shopping coincided with the
rise of discounting formats, creating a climate suitable for the growth of value
retailing. Third, the relaxation of planning guidelines in the 1980s and early 1990s
allowed the development of new out of town retail formats.

21. Factory Outlet Stores:

Outlet Stores are off-price retailers owned by manufacturers or by department or


specialty store chains and are frequently referred to as factory outlets. A factory
outlet is a manufacturer–owned store selling manufacturer closeouts,
discontinued merchandise, irregulars, cancelled orders, and sometimes, in
season, first quality merchandise. They closely resemble shopping centers, both
in terms of size, layout, and in carefully controlled tenant mix, with manufacturers
operating separate units on a single co-coordinated site. Additional amenities
include car parking, restaurant and leisure facilities. Factory outlet stores are
located out of town, lowering development and operating costs and the
distribution channel for certain categories of merchandise is shortened, cutting
out the functions and profits of traditional retailers. The manufacturers have
various interests in outlet stores. 11 It helps in the disposal of surplus stock due
to unreliable accounts, late payers, and cancelled orders. It allows a

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manufacturer to control where its discounted merchandise is sold. A
manufacturer chooses out-of–the-way locations, depressed areas, or areas with
low sales penetration of the firm’s brands, whereby the factory outlet revenues
are unlikely to affect the sales at manufacturers’ key specialty and department
stores. A manufacturer can decide on store visibility, set promotion policies,
remove labels and be sure that discontinued items and irregulars are disposed of
properly.

22. Closeout Retailers:

Closeout Retailers are off-price retailers that sell a broad but consistent
assortment of general merchandise as well as apparel and soft home goods.

23. Single Price Retailers:

Single Price Retailers are closeout stores that sell all their merchandise at a
single price.

24. Hypermarkets

Hypermarkets were created in France after World War II. A hypermarket is a very
large retail store offering low prices. It combines a discount store and superstore
food retailer in one warehouse like building. Hypermarkets can be up to 300,000
square feet and stock over 50,000 different items. Hypermarkets are unique in
terms of store size; low operating margins, low prices and the size of general
merchandise assortment. The store sells a broad variety of basic merchandise
ranging from food to consumer electronics. All hypermarkets are based on three
concepts of: one stop shopping, ample free parking and a discount pricing
strategy. The main limitation of hypermarkets is that many consumers find that
shopping in stores over 200,000 square feet is too time consuming. It is hard to
find merchandise and checkout lines can be very long.

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25. Variety Store

A variety store handles a wide assortment of inexpensive and popularly priced


goods and services, such as stationary, gift items, women’s accessories, health
and beauty aids, light hardware, toys, house ware and confectionery items. They
do not carry full product lines, may not be departmentalized and do not deliver
products. Transactions are often on a cash basis. There are often displays and
few salespeople.

The challenge for variety stores has come from specialty stores, discount stores
and closeout chains often sell similar items to those sold in conventional variety
stores, but in plainer surroundings and much lower prices.

26. Flea Market

A flea market has many retail vendors offering a range of products at discount
prices in plain surroundings. It is rooted in the centuries old tradition of street
selling - shoppers touch, sample and haggle over the prices of items. Price-
conscious consumers who find that other retail formats have upgraded
merchandise and customer service or raised prices frequent them. Many flea
markets are located in nontraditional sites not normally associated with retailing:
racetracks, stadiums and arenas. Others are at sites abandoned by
supermarkets and department stores. They may be indoor or outdoor. At a flea
market, individual retailers rent space on a daily, weekly or seasonal basis. The
newest trend in flea markets involves web-based flea markets such as eBay and
Amazon.com with its Shops. Flea markets are believed by some to misrepresent
or overstate the quality of merchandise. The can easily avoid taxes and their
operating costs are quite low.

27. Non-Store Based Retailers

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Non-store retailing is a form of retailing in which sales are made to consumers
without using physical stores. The non-store retailers are known by medium they
use to communicate with their customers, such as direct marketing, direct selling
and vending machines or e-tailing. Non store retailing is patronized to time
conscious consumers and consumers who can’t easily go to stores, or
compulsive buyers. Most non-store retailers offer consumers the convenience of
buying 24 hours a day seven days a week and delivery at location and time of
their choice. Non store sales are now growing at a higher rate than sales in retail
stores. The high growth rate is primarily due to the growth of electronic retailing.
The growth of catalogue retail sales and sales in other non store retailing formats
such as TV home shopping, direct selling, and vending machines are slower.

28. Vending Machines

Vending machine is a retailing format involving the coin or card operated


dispensing of goods (such as beverages) and services (such as life insurance
sales at airports). It eliminates the use of sales personnel and allows for round
the clock sales. Machines can be placed wherever they are most convenient to
the consumers –inside or outside a store, in a hotel corridor, at a station, airport
or a street corner. Although many attempts have been made to ‘vend’ other
products, beverages and food items remain the largest category. Hotels,
restaurants and at train stations are highly visible spots for vending but they
account for a small proportion of sales. Higher priced items have not sold well in
vending machines because too many coins are required for each transaction and
many vending machines are not equipped with currency note changers. Many
consumers are reluctant to purchase more expensive items - they cannot see
them displayed or have them explained and there is the difficulty of returning
unsatisfactory merchandise. In evolved markets, vending machine sales have
experienced little growth over the past five years largely due to the changes in
the workplace. Employment growth has been limited and the largest growth in

53
the work-force is white and pink collar employees rather than the blue – collar
workers who buy most heavily from vending machines. To improve productivity
and customer relations, vending machine retailers use microprocessors to track
consumer preferences, trace malfunctions and record receipts. The devices
transmit data back to the host computer. This data is analyzed and
communications are sent to route drivers informing them of stock outs and
malfunctions. Some machines even have voice synthesizers. Video kiosks
enable consumers to assess the merchandise and also use their credit cards to
make a purchase. In India vending machines are at a very nascent stage. Almost
all of them are operated by an attendant. Even coffee machines are operated
with assistance. Companies like Cadbury’s and Malayala Manorma (newspaper
publishing house) have installed them at places that attract a lot of traffic, such
as the airport. But the sales from these are limited.

Electronic Retailing

Electronic retailing (also called e-tailing and Internet retailing) is a retail format in
which the retailer and customer communicate which each other through an
interactive electronic network. After an electronic dialogue between the retailer
and customer, the customer can order merchandise directly through the
interactive network or by telephone. The merchandise is then delivered to the
customer’s address. The World Wide Web can serve one or more of these roles
for a retailer:

 Project a retail presence.


 Generate sales as the major source of revenue for an online retailer or as a
 Complementary source of revenue for a store-based retailer.
 Enhance the retailer’s image.
 Reach geographically dispersed consumers including foreign ones.

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 Provide information to consumers about the products carried, store locations
usage
 Information, answers to common questions, customer loyalty programmes
and so on.
 Promote new products and fully explain and demonstrate their features.
 Furnish customer service in the form of E-mail, “hot links”, and other
communications.
 Be more personal with consumers by letting them point and click on topics
they choose.
 Conduct a retail business in a cost efficient manner.
 Obtain customer feedback.
 Give special offers and send coupons to web customers.
 Describe employment opportunities.
 Present information to potential investors, potential franchisees and the
media.
The role assigned to the web by a given retailer depends on whether it is
predominantly a traditional retailer that wants to have a web presence or a newer
firm that wants to derive most or all its revenues from web transactions. In
addition, Forrester Research has forecast that 13% of U.S. retailing will be
conducted via the Internet by 2004. Non U.S. markets account for about 30
percent of the ecommerce industry. In India Non-Store retailing represented by
direct selling and e-tailing is estimated at Rs 1,100 crores. Only 19 percent of all
retailers have an e-retailing initiative. The number of retailers with plans to e-tail
within one year and those with no plans are almost equal. Significantly, 10
percent of the retailers have discontinued their e-retail initiatives. The main
reasons for retailers to stay away from e-tailing are predominantly non-viability of
business and resource constraints. It is estimated that 5 percent or more of retail
sales of goods and services such as apparel, banking, books, computer
hardware and software, consumer electronics, gifts, greeting cards, insurance,
music, newspapers/magazines, sporting goods, toys, travel and videos will be

55
made online. In the case of products where it is difficult to provide ‘touch and feel’
information electronically, such as clothing, perfumes, flowers and food electronic
retailers may not be successful. Branding may help overcome many of the
uncertainties in purchasing merchandise without touching and feeling it. For
example, if customers purchase a size 30–inch waist / 32-inch inseam pair of
jeans, they know they will fit when bought from an electronic retailer. In some
products and services, such as traveling or hotels, electronic retailers might even
be able to provide superior information compared to store retailers. The critical
issue related to selling successfully for electronic retailers is whether they can
provide enough information prior to the purchase and make sure the customers
will be satisfied with the merchandise once they get it. There are many buying
situations in which electronic retailers can provide sufficient information, even
though the merchandise has important ‘touch and feel’ attributes.
Started on venture capitalist (VC) or initial public offering (IPO) money, by 1999
there was hype around e-tailing. Consumers were thought to be ready to make a
deliberate choice of buying from e-tailers rather than retailers. They seemed to
fulfill the consumer dream of no queues, no geographic barriers, low prices and
unlimited selection - what retail had failed to deliver. But e-tailing ended up
disappointing and found that traditional shopping was easier. Ernst & Young
statistics for the 1999 Christmas season revealed that US online buyers spent
only 26% of their holiday spending (averaging $1,080 per capita) online, while
they devoted 67% of their total holiday expenditure to in-store purchases, the
remaining 7% they spent on catalogue products. By the end of the 2000 holiday
season more than 90% of e-tailers closed down in the period to January 2001. E-
commerce witnessed the collapse of several online grocers, drug stores, auto
dealerships, pet supply stores and other budding ecommerce ventures and
hundreds of dotcom investors abandoning their dreams of getting rich quick with
e-commerce. However, Retail e-commerce sales grew to $7.5 billion, up 24.7
percent in the second quarter of 2001 compared with just under $6 billion in the
second quarter of 2000, according to an August report from the U.S. Commerce
Department. Leading market researchers suggest that U.S. markets for online

56
retailers will cross $27 billion by 2005. European Web shoppers are expected to
spend more money online for groceries than their American counterparts,
according to Forrester Research. The report predicts that Web grocery shopping
in Europe will be $51 million –or five percent of Europe’s total grocery sales by
2005. Seven percent of the United Kingdom’s grocery sales will go online by
2005. The Nordic countries are expected to follow closely with six percent of
grocery sales taking place online. France and Germany will account for more
than three percent of sales online in 2005. The present players in the market are
trying to learn the lessons from the failures and success of extinct and surviving
e-commerce pioneers.

Factors Affecting the Growth of Electronic Retailing:

Three critical factors affecting the adoption of a new innovation such as shopping
electronically are (1) the ease with which customers can try the innovation, (2)
the perceived risks in adopting the innovation, and (3) the benefits offered by the
innovation compared to the present alternatives. Trying Out Electronic Shopping:
In September 2002 about 605.60 million around the world had access to the
Internet. Majority of these web surfers were living in Europe, followed by
Asia/Pacific, Canada & USA, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
(UNCTAD report) Internet usage is seeing an annual rise of about 30-percent
which is equivalent to about 2.5 percent of the global population. A growing share
of new internet users is in developing countries, which accounted for nearly a
third of all new Internet users worldwide in 2001. Already Asia, excluding Japan
and the Republic of Korea, added almost 21 million new users to the Internet in
2001, more than North America. With 77 million people under 18 expected to be
online globally by 2005, teenagers and children constitute one of the fastest
growing Internet populations, Surfing the net is a highly regarded activity by this
age group. However, adults over 50 years old are one of the fastest growing
markets on-line. A large number of this age group has home access to the

57
Internet. Studies have revealed that older people are receptive to new technology
and have time, money and enthusiasm to surf the web regularly. Apart from
staying in touch with far-flung family and friends, the older people tend to
purchase merchandise and services online because shopping in stores can be
difficult for them.

Perceived Risks in Electronic Shopping

Technological developments are reducing the risk of electronic shopping by


enabling secure transactions and increasing the amount and quality of
information available to electronic shopper. However, security of the credit card
transactions remains one of the major concerns, especially in developing
economies. Entertainment and Social Experience: All non-store retail formats are
limited in the degree to which they can satisfy these entertainment and social
needs. In-store retail formats score high on this account. They provide more
benefits to consumers in terms of entertainment and social experience than
simply having merchandise readily available and helping them to buy it. Even the
most attractive and inventive web pages and video clips will not be as exciting as
the displays and activities in a Disney or Toys R Us store due to their
interactivity.

Ordering and Receiving Merchandise:

In the case of store-based retail formats the delivery time of getting merchandise
is immediate. But in the case of non-store retail formats consumers usually have
to wait several days to get merchandise, especially when the goods are of a
perishable nature and bought prior to an occasion. Number of alternatives:
The biggest benefit of electronic retailing compared to other retail formats is the
vast number of alternatives that become available to consumers. For example, a
person living in India can shop electronically at Harrods’s in London in less time
than it takes to visit the local supermarket. However, it does have limitations.

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Shoppers may visit all the sites selling the product. This may be a time
consuming exercise unless the consumer is focused and finds a few items that
they might like to study in detail. A more significant potential benefit of electronic
retailing is the ability to have an electronic agent to select a small set for the
customer to look at in detail. Service oriented retailers score higher on this
account as their salespeople know what their preferred customers want and help
indecision making by limiting the choice.

Cost of Merchandise:

Since electronic retailers do not have to spend money building and operating
stores at convenient locations, they have much lower costs, as much as 25
percent lower than in-store retailers. But the electronic retailers or the customers
will have higher costs to get the merchandise to homes, deal with the high level
of returns and attract customers to their website. It is quite costly to deliver
merchandise in small quantities to customers’ homes. Customers presently incur
these costs when they spend their time and money going to stores to pick out
and take home merchandise and then going back to the stores to return the
merchandise they don’t want. Therefore it is necessary that an e-tailer should try
to achieve large volumes as soon as possible.

E-TAILING CHALLENGES

1. Zero error operations:

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A study by Boston Consulting Group in the United States and Canada in 1999
showed that 57% of Internet users have shopped online and 51% actually
purchased goods or services online. The typical online purchaser completed ten
transactions and spent $460 online over the previous twelve months. Yet 28% of
all attempted online purchases failed, and four out of five consumers who made
purchases online experienced at least one failed attempt over the same period.
These failures resulted from technical problems consumers encountered with the
sites, difficulties in finding products and logistical and delivery problems after the
sale. Twenty eight percent of consumers who suffered a failed purchase attempt
stopped shopping online and 23 % stopped purchasing at the site in question.
However, the study also showed that consumers who enjoyed a satisfying first
purchase experience online were likely to spend more time and money on the
Net. The satisfied first-time purchaser typically engaged in twelve online
transactions and spent $500 during the previous twelve months. The dissatisfied
first time purchaser spent only $140 on four online transactions. About 5% of
users who had bad online shopping experiences also stopped patronizing the
retailer’s physical store. There are a number of things in the e-business
environment that can impact the consumer’s shopping experience negatively.
Primarily the e-tailers need to think about providing support for customers on two
subjects: problems with the website usage and questions or problems with the
product. Appropriate use of technology and people solutions will have to be
defined in order to support e-business initiatives by understanding, tracking and
monitoring the online behavior of customers. Normally, people have to spend a
lot of time describing the problem. The customer support team can see where the
customer was at the time of reporting the problem or what task was abandoned.
Based on which they can efficiently resolve this issue. This type of service will
not only enhance a customer’s experience on the e-tailers website but also
provide the organization with an opportunity to reduce costs. E-tailers have
several customer service options ranging from real–time consumer interactions
to self-service options:

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2. New Retailing Formats

The practice of retailing is continuously evolving. New formats are born and old
ones die. Incessant pressure to improve efficiency and effectiveness and a
continual effort to serve the customer better forces the retailers to find new ways
of doing business. This has also resulted in a shortened lifecycle for retail
formats. For example, in the late 1980s most retail experts agreed that
hypermarkets would be retelling’s success story of the 1990s. However, despite
their overwhelming success in Europe and their limited success in the United
States, these mega stores were retelling’s biggest failure in the 1990s. The
customers were unnerved by the sheer size of these stores. In addition, category
killers offered greater selection and wholesale clubs offered better prices, while
supermarkets and discounters offered more convenient locations. Another retail
format that didn’t achieve the success predicted was the off-price retailer
because the regular merchants, including discounters, became more price
competitive on the brands the off-pricer was currently selling. Although these
retailing formats have not lived up to expectations, many other new formats are
emerging.

3.Supercentres: Supercentres, which is a one-stop combination of


supermarket and discount department store that carries from 80,000 to more
than 100,000 products (ranging from televisions to peanut butter to fax
machines), are new the format for the mass merchants. These stores offer the
customer the convenience of one-stop shopping without sacrificing service and
variety. They are capable of drawing customers from a 60 to 80 mile radius in
some rural areas. Hence they seem to be a perfect answer to today’s time-
pressed consumer needs. The super centre concept has even branched out in to
the automobile market. The supermarkets are implementing strategies to
counteract the supercentres. They are joining the discounters in letting the
customers’ purchasing habits determine their purchasing and inventory
decisions. By using “justin- time” (JIT) methods grocers are now reordering only

61
when and what their computer, which is connected to their in-store bar-code
scanners, deems necessary. This way supermarkets try to reduce costs and
meet the discounters’ prices head on.

4. Recycled Merchandise Retailers:

Recycled merchandise retailers are a product of great depression, which sell


cast-off clothes; furniture, sporting goods and computers. They include
pawnshops, thrift shops, consignment shops and even flea markets. Due to their
very small numbers just a decade ago, recycled merchandisers have
experienced the fastest growth of any retail format over the past five years. Even
as a record number of retailers were seeking bankruptcy protection in the mid–
1990s, these recycled merchandise retailers were growing at 10 percent a year.
Recycling is not just an American phenomenon; it is also big in Europe and Latin
America. However, it is growing fastest in Japan where this retail format is
expanding at nearly a 20 percent annual rate. Japanese companies from kimono
stores to catalogue retailers have jumped on the second-hand bandwagon. One
of the most popular stores in Japan is called “Per Gram Market”, which sells
items at eight cents a gram. Thus, a second-hand T-shirt would cost around $
8.50, but a silk scarf would sell for $2.8070. Recyclers have developed to serve
specific markets, such as pregnant women, large sizes or children, or even
specific merchandise such as toys, sporting goods (including camping and
backpacking equipment), outwear, CDs, tools or jewellery. The apparel group
accounting for the lowest resale and thrift store sales is men’s clothing. The
reason being that men hang onto their clothes longer than women and children
do, leaving much less available for resale.

5. Liquidators

62
Liquidators are a retail format that comes in and liquidates leftover merchandise
when an established retailer shuts down or downsizes. They make their money
by seldom paying more than 30 cents on the wholesaler price for the closeout
retailers. They are often called retelling’s undertakers or vultures. Retailers utilize
the services of liquidators because running closeouts requires some special
retailing skills. Liquidators have a talent for pricing merchandise and estimating
the expense of everything from ad budgets and payrolls to utility bills. Liquidators
also have to develop special incentive plans to make it more profitable for store
personnel to stay and work rather than quit or walk off with merchandise

6. Video Kiosks

The video kiosk is a freestanding, interactive, electronic computer terminal that


displays products and related information on a video screen. It often uses a touch
screen for consumers to make selections. Video kiosks can be situated
anywhere (from a store aisle to the lobby of a college dormitory to a hotel lobby).
They require enable consumers to place orders, complete transactions (typically
with a credit card) and arrange for products to be shipped. Kiosks can be linked
to retailers’ computer networks or tied in to the web. Many shopping centers and
individual store-based retailers are setting up video kiosks in open hallways. At
the beginning of 1999, there were about 250,000 video kiosks, in use through out
the United States. It is estimated that there will be 1.7 million U.S. kiosks by the
end of 2003. It is also forecast that video kiosk sales will rise from $830 million in
1999 to $3 billion in 2003. Worldwide, nearly 80 percent of kiosks are involved
with retail related transactions. North America accounts for 59 percent of kiosk
sales, the Pacific Rim for 20 percent, Europe for 16 percent and the rest of the
world for 5 percent. Car Boot Sales Car boot sales are becoming increasingly
popular, where often a vehicle is modified for the sale of a variety of merchandise
like books, magazines, clothes, music cassettes, export surplus and/or rejects,
fast food items. The boot sale boom has given software pirates, for example, "an

63
ideal outlet and quick getaway". It also provides opportunities for small traders
who may lack the capital for permanent premises. They are often situated near
the university campus and commercial areas. Its target audience is lower middle
and middle class customers looking for “value for money products.”
Mobile Vans are modified vehicles usually poultry and meat products, library
books, etc. They move from location to location, for fixed periods of time, thus
providing convenience by coming closer to customers.

7. A Value Based Model of Format Choice

T is evident that each of the formats offers some unique benefit that helps in
attracting shoppers. What is also interesting is that even with the proliferation of
formats, each one of them is surviving. Shoppers have spread their purchases
across formats. In some cases, different merchandise is bought through specific
channels. So, while books and music are being bought in large volumes through
the Internet, grocery and high value purchases are being bought through store-
based formats. Some shoppers are also buying similar merchandise through
separate formats. Due to the choices available to shoppers, there is an effort to
optimize the value derived and hence split purchases between formats. However,
it is also noticed that shoppers tend to make one of the formats their primary
choices and make most of their purchases from that format. It is, therefore,
imperative that a retailer should select the value and then choose the format that
delivers the value to the fullest. A format is defined as the system for delivering
the value promised to the shoppers so as to create a sustainable competitive
advantage.

8. Value Proposition:

64
The first step in deciding the format is to identify and select the value proposition
that the store would like to offer to shoppers. Shoppers have several reasons for
choosing their stores. A study conducted in India indicated that proximity and
merchandise were the primary reasons. More than 70% of respondents indicated
these as their strongest reason for choice. The third reason was ambience (8%)
and patronized store (8%). Only 40% could provide as many as three reasons.
Seventy percent had at least two reasons. This indicates that shoppers generally
have just one good reason, and at most two reasons for visiting a particular
store. A store would thus build a value proposition based on its target customers,
competition and company objectives. Each retailer would need to vary its offering
by different combinations of the elements of value mix, called Retail Value
Proposition.

9. Enablers and Deterrents:

Each of the formats would yield optimum results only when certain conditions are
fulfilled. A store needs to identify these conditions and the variables causing
them. These variables then need to be classified as enablers or deterrents.
Enablers are factors that could be utilized to manage the format successfully.
Deterrents consist of variables that would impede the successful working and
growth of the format. Toys R Us found that in entering Japan their biggest
challenge was finding space for large size stores. The largest stores in Japan
were about 1/3 of the existing stores of TRS. TRS is a category killer. It drives
the value from focusing on one category and offering price and depth. The store
needs to conduct a thorough analysis of the macro and microenvironment that is
impinging on its business.

What it takes to deliver the Values

65
Based on the value identified and the environmental factors, retailers develop a
mix by using the following five elements:

a) Variety and assortment of merchandise: Variety is the number of different


merchandise categories a retailer offers. Assortment is the number of different
items in a merchandise category. Each different kind of merchandise is called an
SKU (stock keeping unit). For example, department stores, discount stores and
toy stores all sell toys. However, department stores sell many other categories of
merchandise in addition to toys. (They have greater variety). The toy stores stock
more types of toys (more SKUs). For each type of toy, such as dolls, the
specialty toy retailer will offer more assortments (more models, sizes, brands and
deeper assortments) than general merchants such as department or discount
stores. Elements like product quality, uniqueness and reliability can also be
clubbed with this factor of the retail mix.

b) Customer Service and Facility: Services provided by retailers to facilitate the


shopping process for customers are called customer services. It includes easy
access to product and price information, employing in-store sales people,
parking, accepting modes of payment suitable to customers, express checkouts,
home delivery, gift wrapping, rest and refreshment facility, child care facility etc.

c) Store design, Display and Ambience: Ambience can be described as non-


visual, background condition in the store environment including elements like
temperature, lighting, music, noise levels, air quality, and scent . Display and
design factors are the environmental elements that are more visible in nature
than ambient factors. These include layout, width of aisles, equipment,
furnishing, cleanliness etc. Kotler has proposed atmospherics as an important
part of retail marketing strategy. Shoppers also determine the value of the
merchandise based on monetary as well as non-monetary costs. The shopping
experience, as created by the store environment plays an important role in

66
building store patronage. Along with the merchandise, it triggers affective
reaction among shoppers and contributes to creating store patronage intentions.

d) Pricing: It is one of the strategic decisions and plays a vital role in store
selection. Pricing decisions like Premium Pricing, Everyday Low Pricing (EDLP),
Hi-Low (HILO) pricing, Discount Pricing are some of the pricing considerations
offered to the customer. The shopper may also evaluate each of the situations in
the light of the cost incurred and the utilities derived out of shopping. These costs
can be classified as fixed and variable costs of shopping. The variable cost is
related to the basket size or the list and hence is likely to change with every trip.
The fixed costs, such as location of the store or the price format, would remain
unchanged over list size. It is suggested that these costs can be converted into
utilities for each of the shoppers by the store. In a study of the two price formats,
EDLP and HILO, it was found that the store could influence the choice of
shoppers by enhancing the perceived utilities. It is also argued that the shopper
may evaluate a shopping situation in the light of cost incurred and utilities derived
out of shopping.

e) Accessibility: It is the convenience component of the retail mix. Store


location, traveling time, parking facility, service hours are considered as
important elements. The first decision is the store - location choice problem. The
second is the shopping trip incidence problem relating to the timing of shopping
trips. The two decision processes are correlated. It is found that, on an overall
basis, shoppers give prominence to proximity of the store, merchandise and
service provided by the store.

Decide on Brick or Click or Brick and click

Offline retailer has taken cognizance of the online model’s ability to drive an
expansion in customer base that would never have been possible in a pure
offline-retailing model and with much lesser investment to boot. The Click model

67
also enables retailers to offer a lot of value added services to their customers,
which perhaps will be the only differentiation, factor in the emerging global
market place. For the pure play online retailers such alliances offer a chance to
leverage the extensive distribution infrastructure, credibility and stability of the
established offline players. It also helps in customer acquisition because
experience has shown that shoppers are more comfortable in making online
purchase if their familiar offline retailers have an online presence.
Many offline retailers realized that it is not always viable to venture alone into the
online market place. This has given rise to several alliances. Offline retailers can
include their web addresses in their communication. Moreover, they can also tie
their store loyalty cards and catalogue circulation lists to their mailing lists in
order to increase awareness and usage of the online channel. They can find out
new shoppers to their site and their conversion. Traditional retailers can leverage
their "physical" assets to build strong "bricks and clicks" organizations that are
able to deliver seamless offerings across multiple channels to build and
strengthen customer loyalty.
However, integrating offline and online store operations is a complex process.
Initially there were concerns for the pure plays about mergers between offline
and online retailers because pure plays were concerned about erosion in their
valuations due to merger with the conservative offline ventures. On the other
hand offline retailers were concerned about the potential cannibalization of the
sales from their traditional offline outlets. But the advantages outweigh the
disadvantages. In integrating click and brick retail models the executives need to
decide on integrating or keeping them separate. Integrating them offers the
benefits of cross promotions, shared information and purchasing leverage and
distribution economies. The primary concern in integration is the cultural fit. The
two types of retailer represent different business and retailing environment. The
shoppers behave differently, the technology is different and so are the
processes.

68
Chapter – 4

Analysis & Interpretation

69
1. Table showing Percentage of Age group

Table No. 1

Age No. of
group Respondents Percentage

Below 30 41 41

31 - 40 32 32

41 - 50 16 16

Above 50 11 11

Total 100 100

Analysis
41% of the respondents are below 30 years
32% of the respondents are between 31 – 40 years
16% of the respondents are between 41 – 50 years
11% of the respondents are above 50 years.

70
1. Chart showing Percentage of Age Group

5%
15%
33%

20%

27%

20-Oct 20 - 30 30 -40 40 - 50 More than 50


Chart No. 1

Interpretation

The above chart shows that 41% of the respondents are below 30 years, 32% of
the respondents are between 31 – 40 years, 16% of the respondents are
between 41 – 50 years, 11% of the respondents are above 50 years. This gives
us a feeling that it is youngsters that prefer on line buying and the use of internet.

71
2. Table Showing Respondents Mode to Accessibility of
Net
Table No. 2

MODE NO. OF PERCENTAGE


RESPONDENTS
House 23 23
Office 31 31

Cyber 46 46
Café
Total 100 100

Analysis

23% of respondents browse in their own house


31% of respondents browse in their office
46% of respondents browse in cyber cafe

72
2. Graph showing Respondents Mode to Accessibility of Net

50 46 46
45
40
35 31 31
30
23 23 NO. OF RESPONDENTS
25
PERCENTAGE
20
15
10
5
0
House Office Cyber Café

Chart No. 2

Interpretation

From the above graph it is assumed that 23% of respondents browse in their own
house, 31% of respondents browse in their office, 46% of respondents browse in
cyber café, which gives us a feeling that most of the respondents do not have
browsing facility in their house. This makes them depend on cyber café which is
expensive.

73
3. Table showing the Number of respondents who have
purchased on line
Table No. 3

Have purchased No. of Percentage


on-line respondents

Yes 41 41

NO 59 59

Total 100 100

Analysis

41% of Respondents have purchased on line


59% of respondents have not purchased through net

74
3. Graph showing the Percentage of people who have purchased on line

200
180
160 100
140
120
100 Percentage
No. of respondents
59 Have purchased on-
80 line
41
60 100

40 59
41
20
0 0 0
0
1 2 3 4

Chart no. 3

Interpretation

The above graph shows that 41% of Respondents have purchased on line and
59% of respondents have not purchased. This draws light to the fact that there is
still a lot to do to make people buy on line.

75
4. Table showing the reason why people are reluctant to buy on
line

Table No. 4

No. of
Reason respondents Percentage
Un aware of
the mode of
payment 4 6.78
Absence of
salesmanship 20 33.89
Absence of
personal
touch 12 20.33
Fear of doing
it for the 1st
time 23 38.98

total 59 100

Analysis

4 respondents are unaware of the mode of payment


20 respondents feel there is absence of salesmanship in on line buying
12 respondents feel that there is absence of personal touch

76
4. Chart showing the reason why respondents are reluctant to buy on line

3%
17%
UN aware of the mode of payment
Absence of salesmanship
Absence of personal touch
51% 10% Fear of doing it for the 1st time
Total
19%

Chart No. 4

Interpretation

The above chart 4 respondents are unaware of the mode of payment, 20


respondents feel there is absence of salesmanship in on line buying, and 12
respondents feel that there is absence of personal touch. This gives us a feeling
that respondents vary in their opinion about on line buying. Most of them are
reluctant to take a decision for the first time to buy.

77
5. Table showing how respondents found on line buying

Table No. 5

Attribute No. of respondents Percentage


Convenient 12 29.26
time saving 3 7.31
Variety 5 12.2

Availability 17 41.46
Cost saving 4 9.76
total 41 100

Analysis

12 respondents feel that it is convenient to buy on line


3 respondents feel that it is time saving
5 respondents feel that it is a variety to buy on line
17 respondents feel products will be available when ordering on
Line
4 respondents feel it is cost saving

78
5. Chart showing Attributes of on line buying

45
41.46
40

35
29.26
30

25
No. of respondents
20 17 Percentage

15 12.2
12
9.76
10 7.31
5 4
5 3

0
Convenient time saving Variety Availability Cost saving

Chart No. 5

Interpretation

From the above chart it is found that 12 respondents feel that it is convenient to
buy on line, 3 respondents feel that it is time saving, 5 respondents feel that it is
a variety to buy on line, 17 respondents feel products will be available when
ordering on line and 4 respondents feel it is cost saving. Where in most of the
respondents are of the opinion that on line buying is advantageous due to the
availability of the product.

79
6. Table showing the number of hours that respondents had to
wait to get the product they had ordered on line

Table No. 6

Time( In hours) No. of respondents Percentage


10 - 30 2 4.9
20 - 30 6 14.63
30 -40 8 19.51

40 - 50 11 26.83
More than 50 14 34.15
Total 41 100

Analysis

5% of respondents waited for 10 – 20 hours for the delivery of the goods they
had ordered on line
15% of respondents waited for 20 -30 hours
20% of the respondents waited for 30 -40 hours
27% of the respondents waited for 40 – 50 hours
35% of respondents waited for more than 50 hours

80
6. Chart representing waiting hours for the delivery of goods ordered

5%
15%
33%
10 - 20
20 - 30
30 -40
40 - 50
20% More than 50

27%

Chart No.6

Interpretation

From the above chart it is seen that 5% of respondents waited for 10 – 20 hours
for the delivery of the goods they had ordered on line, 15% of respondents
waited for 20 -30 hours, 20% of the respondents waited for 30 -40 hours, 27% of
the respondents waited for 40 – 50 hours, 35% of respondents waited for more
than 50 hours. This gives us a feeling that different products and different sellers
give the products ordered on line at different time lag.

81
7. Table showing the influencer of purchase at home

Table No. 7

Influencer No. of respondents percentage


Father & Mother 06 14.63

Father 09 21.95

Mother 03 07.31

Children 17 41.46

All 06 14.63

Total 41 100

Analysis

For 15% of respondents it is the Father and mother who influence the buying
behaviour.
For 22% of respondents it is the Father who influences the buying behaviour.
For 7% of respondents it is the Mother who influences the buying behaviour.
For 41% of respondents it is the children who influence the buying behaviour
For15% of respondents it is the all together that influence the buying behaviour

82
7. Graph showing the influencer of purchase at home

45 41.46
40
35
30
25 21.95
20 Percentage
14.63 14.63
15
10 7.31
5
0
Father & Father Mother Children All
Mother

Chart No.7

Interpretation

The above graph shows that 15% of respondents feel that it is the Father and
mother who influence the buying behaviour. For 22% of respondents it is the
Father who influences the buying behaviour. For 7% of respondents it is the
Mother who influences the buying behaviour. For 41% of respondents it is the
children who influence the buying behaviour For15% of respondents it is the all
together that influence the buying behaviour.

83
8. Table showing the web sites that respondents usually visit in
relation to on line shopping

Table No. 8

Sites No. Of Respondents Percentage


Rediff.com 9 21.95

Yahoo.com 6 14.63

Hotmail.com 4 09.75

Fabmart.com 10 24.39

Homedel.com 7 17.07

Ecomart.com 5 12.19

Total 41 100

Analysis

22% of the respondents visit rediff.com in relation to shopping


15% of the respondents visit yahoo.com in relation to shopping
9% of the respondents visit hotmail.com in relation to shopping
24% of the respondents visit fabmart.com in relation to shopping
17% of the respondents visit homedel.com in relation to shopping
12% of the respondents visit ecomart.com in relation to shopping

84
8. Chart showing web sites that respondents usually visit in relation to on line shopping

12%
22%

Rediff.com
17%
Yahoo.com
Hotmail.com
Fabmart.com
Homedel.com
15%
Ecomart.com

24% 10%

Chart no. 8

Interpretation

From the above chart it is assumed that 22% of the respondents visit rediff.com
in relation to shopping, 15% of the respondents visit yahoo.com in relation to
shopping, 9% of the respondents visit hotmail.com in relation to shopping, 24%
of the respondents visit fabmart.com in relation to shopping, 17% of the
respondents visit homedel.com in relation to shopping, 12% of the respondents
visit ecomart.com in relation to shopping

85
9. Table showing the interest of Respondents to shop on line in
future

Table No. 9

Attribute No. of Respondents Percentage


Yes 30 73.17

No 11 26.82

Total 41 100

Analysis

73% of respondents are interested to shop again through the Net


27% of respondents are not interested shop again through the Net

86
9. Graph showing the interest of respondents to shop on line in future

100
26.82
90
80
70
60 No
50 73.17 Yes
40 11
30
30
20
10
0
No. of Respondents Percentage

Chart No. 9

Interpretation

The above graph shows that 73% of respondents are interested to shop again
through the Net and 27% of respondents are not interested shop again through
the Net.

87
10. The Table showing the overall rating of online shopping by
the respondents
Table No. 10

Ratings No. of respondents Percentage

Highly satisfactory 17 41.46

Satisfactory 14 34.14

Dissatisfactory 10 24.39

Total 41 100

Analysis

41% of respondents are highly satisfied about on line buying


34% of respondents are satisfied about on line buying
25% of respondents are dissatisfied about on line buying

88
10. Graph showing the overall rating of online shopping by the respondents

45 41.46
40
34.14
35

30
24.39
25 No. of respondents
20 17 Percentage
14
15
10
10
5

0
Highly satisfactory Satisfactory Dissatisfactory

Chart No. 10

Interpretation

From the above graph it is found that 41% of respondents are highly satisfied
about on line buying 34% of respondents are satisfied about on line buying 25%
of respondents are dissatisfied about on line buying This gives a feeling that
more number of respondents are highly satisfied or at least satisfied about on
line buying. This increases the scope for online selling.

89
Chapter no. 5
Summary of findings,
Suggestions and Conclusion

90
Findings

Some of the findings from the study that might stimulate the degree of change
from the conventional strategy are given below.

1. The volumes in the Indian market lie in the middle and lower middle class. The
growth and impact of e-retailing in India would be directly proportionate to the
penetration of the internet in these categories. Currently access costs are very
high. These access costs are a function for two variables:
The cost of acquisition of computers would be a pre-requisite for internet
penetration. It is typically observed that the probability of customers making a
purchase on the net from a cyber café is very low. Cyber cafes are mainly used
for checking mail and other planned search activities. Thus it is necessary for
customers to possess a computer with an internet connection o improve the
scope of e- business.
The cost of connectivity that basically refers to the expenses, incurred in the
telephone bill and internet subscription costs In order for the Internet levels of the
internet to improve, these costs have to reduce thus encouraging more
customers to become net savvy.

2. Average literacy rates are also an important factor though a large percentage
of the population watches TV and is able to appreciate the nuances and meaning
of the commercials that are aired, Literacy would be an important factor in
increasing internet penetration besides actually increasing the accessibility of the
bet as a medium of business.

3. The cultural factors and Indian traditions are a key impediment to the
development of e retailing shopping in India is not just a chore, it is an enjoyable
experience. In the west most of the families shop on the week end to shore up
glossaries and provisions for the coming week it is viewed as a task that has to
be completed. In such a scenario, the Internet with its apparent benefits of

91
greater speed, convenience and information provided those with an attractive
option the situation in India however is completely different. For the traditional
Indian house wife purchase of vegetable/ Glossaries by bargaining with the shop
keeper is an important event in the day. Add to this the fact that a large
percentage of consumer purchases in India occurs in an around festivals. This
implies a lot of color fund and gaiety that would be missing in the case of on line
shopping.

4. All the above points have focused on the B2C model of e- business. In the
B2B model in India, the key driving factor is relationship. It would take a
significant amount of time to build the required level of trust in an online
relationship. Thus, a large part of the B2B volumes would be driven by
establishing connectivity among existing business partners.

5. Only 23% of the respondents are accessing the net in their house it means
that in India Internet in house is not yet become common. But in course of time it
will definitely increase

92
Recommendations

The recommendations to improve the present situation of e-retailing are:


1. Buyers in fast-moving product categories should use electronic
market place to save money o the goods they buy, while sellers
should seize the opportunity to reach new customers and delay the
development of a buyer controlled market place.
2. Third parties should act promptly to attract a critical mass of buyers
and sellers to their own market place.
3. Logistics systems ensure that the company delivers the product to
the customer in the shortest possible time.
4. IT infrastructure costs can be lowers through implementation of
internet based computing.
5. The following parameters may be taken care of, for the success of
e-retailing.
 Loyalty
 Customer acquisition
 retentions
 per-transaction value
6. The sites must be made more users friendly.
7. There must be an e-relationship software that synchronize all of the
customer contact channels and prioritize means of conduct namely
phone, Fax, Pager, or e-mail according to individual customer
preferences. The objective is to support people in the way they
want to do business and to be able to speak to customers through
the devises most appropriate to them.

93
Conclusion

There’s little doubt that E- retailing is the future. But, that’s just the point: it is the
future. The present clearly belongs to B2B. Realizing that future will require
research, introspection, learning and educated effort. Let’s then conclude by
compiling a ‘recipe for success’ for E- retailers the world over:

 Get your back-end systems into shape. Customers keep coming back only if
Earlier shopping experiences have been pleasant and successful. Quit gloating
over the 75% success rate of on-line purchases.
Remember, you are competing with the neighborhood store, which, more often
than not, has a close-to- 100% record, and a smiling, friendly shop-keeper
thrown in for good measure.

 Integrate! Integrate! Integrate! Treat your E- retailing site as the customer-


Facing end of a supply chain, not as a stand-alone antenna for attracting Web-
travelers. Focus on building strong bonds between every link in the supply chain
(order processing, order status tracking, payment status, inventory level
reporting, and procurement) and build your B2C store-front.

 Build alliances. Many traditional brick-and-mortar firms have well-established


Supply chains but lack the easiness that you can bring in. You, in all probability,
have neither the inclination nor the resources to build a successful supply chain.
It’s a win-win situation!

 Get help. You’ve heard this before, but its worth repeating: e-retailing isn’t just
About building a pretty website.

94
An established management consulting firm will bring in the requisite skills to
evaluate your business plan, check out revenue models, help identify potential
alliances and integrate supply chain processes with your eCommerce initiatives.
Go out there and create your future!

BIBLIOGRAPHY

95
BIBLIOGRAPHY

E-retailing business models for Indian retail chains(Anand Sriram)


E business models and implementation strategies(Sumit Datta)
A managers guide to e commerce by kolakota
Frontiers of e commerce by kalakota
http://www.amzon.com
http://www.mindtree.com
http://www.fabmart.com
http://www.yahoo.com
http://www.homedel.com

96
Annexure

97
Questionnaire

Dear Sir/ Madam,

I am a student of Kristu Jayanti College, pursuing my final year MBA. As part of


my studies I have to submit a dissertation to the Bangalore University. I would be
grateful if you could answer the following questions honestly. Your valuable time
spared will assist me in collecting relevant data in my area of research. All
information collected will be treated as confidential. Information gathered is
strictly for research purpose.

JOICE SEBASTIAN

Age below 30 yrs 31-40 yrs 41-50 yrs above 51 yrs

Family Income per annum (approximately)

Rs. 50000 - 100000 Rs.100000 - 150000

Rs. 150000 - 200000 Rs. 200000 & Above

Marital Status Single Married

1. Do you access the net? Yes No

2. Where do you access the net? House Office Cyber café

3. Have you ever purchased through on- line? Yes No

4. If No why?

UN aware of the mode of payment Absence of personal touch

Absence of salesman ship Fear of doing it for the first time

5. If yes, how did you find it?

Convenient Variety Availability

Time saving Cost saving

98
6. How long do you have to wait for the delivery of goods ordered?

10 – 20 hrs 20 – 30 hrs 30 – 40 hrs

40 – 50 hrs More than 50 hrs

7. Details of the purchasing process from the point of order till delivery.

8. Who influences the purchase of goods at home?

Father & mother Father Mother

Children All

9. Which web site do you visit to do shopping?

rediff.com yahoo.com hotmail.com

Fabmart.com homedel.com ecomart.com

10. Are you interested in shopping again through the net?

Yes No

11. If yes or no why?

12. Your over all rating of on line shopping

Highly satisfactory Satisfactory Dissatisfactory

99